Charles L. Cotton

Charles L. Cotton

Wednesday, 17 June 2015 11:38

Acme Firearms Training Group

The Acme Firearms Training Group instructors have decades of experience as firearms trainers in military, law enforcement and competitive arenas.  Their combined experience means you can find exactly the type of training you need.

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Tuesday, 26 May 2015 16:09

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Monday, 25 May 2015 14:33

Handgun Training

star ring logoWhether you already have a Concealed Handgun License or are thinking about it, putting a CHL in your wallet shouldn't be your end goal.  While the license makes it legal for you to carry a self-defense handgun, it doesn't mean you are ready to deal with a deadly assault. Get handgun training and start with the basics.  Then get a shooting mentor and have a practice plan every time you go to the range. 

The Handgun Skills Series of courses is an excellent way to develope the basic skills necessary to effectively use a handgun in a self-defense situation.  Currently, the Series consists of five different  classes: Basic Handgun Skills (3 hrs.), Intermediate Handgun I & II Skills courses (3 hrs. each), and Advanced Handgun Skills I&II courses (3 hrs. each).  The classes are building blocks designed to allow a student with little or no handgun experience to progress with confidence in building handgun skills.  Each course in the Series focuses on specific aspects of defensive shooting and classes are scheduled far enough apart to allow the student to practice and hone what they have learned before proceeding to the next level course.

Monday, 25 May 2015 14:32

Eligibility Requirements for a CHL

To be eligible for a Texas Concealed Handgun License, the applicant must be:

  • A resident of Texas for 6 months, or intend to establish residency;
  • 21 years of age (18 if active or former military);
  • Eligible to purchase a handun under state and federal law;

The Applicant must NOT be:

  • Convicted of a felony
  • Convicted of a Class A or B Misdemeanor (or Disorderly Conduct) within 5 years proir to application;
  • Charged with a Class A or B Misdemeanor, Disorderly Conduct Misdemeanor, or felony at the time of application;
  • A fugitive from justice;
  • Finally determined to be delinquent in payment of Texas taxes or child support;
  • Incapable of exercising sound judgement in the use and storage of a handgun;
  • A chemically dependent person;
  • Currently under a protetive order or other order effecting the spousal relationship, other than the protection of property.

NOTE:  Some but not all successfully completed deferred adjudications are defined as "convictions" for pusposes of CHL eligibility.

Monday, 25 May 2015 14:31

How Do I Get a CHL?

Getting a Texas Concealed Handgun License requires submitting an online application to the Texas Dept. of Public Safet, having digital fingerprints taken at L-1 and taking a CHL class.  As of September 1, 2013, the CHL class was reduced from a minimum of 10 hrs to a minimum of 4 hrs exclusive of the time spent on the range. The range portion of the class lasts approximately one hour and requires the firing of a total of 50 rounds.  (20 rounds are fired at 3 yards, 20 rounds from 7 yards and 10 rounds from 15 yards.)  The requirement for renewal classes was also repealed.

You can apply using the new DPS/Texas Online online application. When you apply online, you will pay your state license fee by credit card at that time and you have the opportunity to print a check list that identifies all documents you will be required to send to DPS. If this is your first CHL, these documents will include any special documents such as your DD-214 if you are claiming a discount for piror military service, disposition documents if you have a prior criminal history that is not disqualifying, etc. You will also have to send proof of successfully completing your CHL class (form CHL-100). 

What is the State license fee? The standard fee for your first CHL is $140 and renewals every five years are $70. There are 50% discountsare available for applicants age 60 and above, and some peace officers and judges. The fee for military veterans is $25 for both initial and renewal CHLs.  The state application fee is waived for active military personnel and those who were discharged within the last 365 days.

How do I renew a CHL?

As of September 1, 2013, renewal classes are no longer required to renew a CHL.  All that is necessary is to apply for renewal online at the DPS website.

Digital fingerprints required for new applicants

The FBI reject rate for digital fingerprints is less than 1%, but the reject rate for "rolled prints" is close to 30%. This is the second most common cause for delays in processing of applications. Using digital also speeds up processing of your CHL application since DPS does not have to take your fingerprint card and scan it into a digital file and hopefully get a file that will be accepted by the FBI. To get digital fingerprints, just go to the Morfo Trust website and make an appointment. The last step in the DPS online application process for initial licenses is is the option to schedule a fingerprint appointment.  If you do not do so at that time, younot be able to schedule an appointment until 24 to 48 hours after you file your online application with DPS. For people in the Friendswood/Pearland area, the closest location is in Pearland. At last report, the fee is $9.95.

What do I need to bring to class?

Please bring your range gear including:

  • A handgun of at least .32 cal. As of June 14, 2013, you can qualify with a revolver or semi-automatic handgun without any restriction on what you can carry. 
  • At least 50 rds of ammo (100 rds are recommended in case your gun gives you trouble or if you have to re-shoot)
  • Eye and ear protection; A cap or visor both to shade your eyes and lessen the already remote chance of getting brass behind your protective glasses;

A holster, "gun rug," gun case, or something to keep your pistol in when moving to and between the firing lines on the range. Although holsters are not used in the qualification, bringing one is recommended, if you have one for the gun you are going to use. It makes it easier to move between firing positions.

How long is the class?

By statute, CHL classes must be between 4 and 6 hrs. long, excluding time spent on a written exam and the range qualification.  Our classroom time is 4 hours, plus the required written exam that ususally takes about 20 minutes.  The range time is approximately 1 hour for the entire class, although each student is on the firing line for only about 20 minutes.

What is the class fee and what's included?

Class fee:  $95

Monday, 25 May 2015 14:29

Training is for Everyone

CLC 08 bustI make a living as an attorney, but I've also been a firearms instructor for over 35 years for at least two reasons.  First, I enjoy teaching and secondly, I believe that responsible firearms ownership demands proper training.  Whether shooting for sporting purposes or for self-defense, every gun owner owes it to themself and to their loved ones to do so properly, safely and proficiently.  This is even more important when we have spouses, children or grandchildren who depend upon our ability with firearms, whether for instructional purposes or to defend their lives should the need arise.

I was born and raised in Texas where we seem to think that boys are born with the God-given ability to shoot.  Well, unless you were born with a gun in your hand, shooting doesn't come naturally.  Sure, some people seem to have a natural talent for shooting, but like all physical talents, that ability needs proper instruction, training and practice to reach its full potential.  Ironically, I've seen more women with a natural talent for shooting than I have men, but perhaps it's a matter of women being more willing to take instruction than us Texas boys.  Seriously, women are at least as capable as men when it comes to safe and proficient shooting, but we all need training.

Whether you carry a handgun for self-defense, or are thinking about buying your first gun, consider professional firearms training from a certified instructor.  Then use the knowledge gained to hone your skills and protect not only yourself, but also those you hold dear.

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