For two days on a recent weekend, Steven Hann stood under a hot Southern California sun learning to draw his new Glock 17 from a holster, clear malfunctions and shoot while on the move. A tail almost as old as firearms themselves.
The 41-year-old businessman and his wife Michelle were among 80 students — more than double the usual number — who showed up for the class at Firearms Training Associates in Corona, California. Hann is also representative of a surge of students who are flocking to firearms schools to acquire or brush up on shooting skills in the wake of current events. Students across the nation say that lockdowns, violent demonstrations, and looting, coupled with a loss of faith in local police departments have eroded their sense of safety. Hann, worried that looting may continue and even get worse, asserted that he was prepared to “stay home and stand sentry to make sure nobody gets in.”
Although there is no official count of the number of people taking firearms classes nationwide, interviews with executives and training coordinators at several well-established schools suggest that demand has risen in step with gun sales during the past three to four months. The avalanche of signups for introductory, intermediate, and concealed-carry classes has forced schools to add new classes to their schedules and call in additional instructors.
Online training that allows shooters to learn while in lockdown also has soared, primarily due to the ease of access while maintaining COVID restrictions. Chris Sajnog, the retired Navy SEAL who developed the elite unit’s sniper training curriculum, said in an email that sales of his web-based courses and workbook, The New Rules for Marksmanship, have jumped about 20 percent in the recent months. Pew Pew Tactical, a firearms blog, has seen a 260 percent increase in signups for its online tactical handgun course, with much of the traffic coming from searches for beginner topics. [full article]