Meet Your Merchant: Safety top priority for weapons instructor
James Campbell knows a thing or two about guns and after a career that spanned the U.S. Army and tribal police enforcement. His goal is to make sure others do, too.
Campbell, 45, started KSA Consulting in November, a business that offers certification training for concealed weapons as well as courses on weapon safety and personal safety.
He said business is growing for concealed weapon trainers. According to a recent msnbc.com report,
37 states issue concealed weapon permits, up from nine 20 years ago. Six million Americans now possess one, up from 1 million in 1980.
Meanwhile, 285 people had a CCW permit in Carson City in 2009, up from 275 in 2008, according to the Carson City Sheriffs Office.
“If there’s an upturn in permits then there’s an upturn in safety classes that need to be addressed, too,” Campbell said. “Because you don’t want someone out there carrying firearms and not being trained for it, even though the state allows you to do all that.”
His customers range from 21 years old – the minimum age to carry a concealed weapon in Nevada – to the elderly.
“It’s a family thing now,” Campbell said. “One of my courses … we had the father, the mother, the daughter and his son-in-law and four other guys from his company.”
Campbell holds a life membership with the National Rifle Association and took his business’s name from the NRA philosophy: “Knowledge, Skills and Attitude.”
He went through the NRA pistol certification course, then the rifle instructor course. Now he’s certified to teach combat shooting and tactics, shotgun shooting and personal protection inside and outside the home. He also can train people for a concealed weapons permit in Utah.
Besides teaching firearms courses, Campbell said he has bigger plans, including obtaining his certification to sell guns and eventually opening an indoor shooting range in Carson City.
Campbell’s journey into firearm training started in 1998. He was seriously injured in a car accident just months after graduating from the Nevada Peace Officers Academy.
After the accident and multiple surgeries, Campbell went back to Western Nevada College for training in computer repair.
But by 2007, with the economy weakening – a good indicator for an increase in gun ownership, Campbell said – he decided to get certified to teach firearms courses.
Today, he teaches at the Carson City Rifle and Pistol Range and has a small office inside Billows Custom Embroidery. His wife, a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper, also has plans to eventually teach with him, he said.
“I personally feel as an NRA member the Second Amendment right to carry a firearm is prevalent,” he said. “And so I started this company, thinking firearm safety.”
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