I arrived early to the location where GAPP was holding the Utah and Florida CCW course, or at least I thought I was going to be early.  It was 30 minutes before the class was to begin, and there were already a half dozen people waiting outside the front door to gain admission to the building where the safety class would begin for the Florida and Utah CCW course.  I already have my Utah CCW, so Florida is the only one that I am interested in today.

As everyone filtered into the building they politely eyed each other up bantering back and forth a little bit…

As the class was getting started, they called names to get our pictures taken so they could be printed out and sent to the respective agencies once everyone has passed the class and has to file their paperwork.

As Cam (the instructor) sets up for the class, I watch as he pulls out a myriad of guns, gear, test equipment and more.  As we wait, I look around the class and wonder how many others here are preppers or if they are here for the privilege of carrying CCW permits.  As I type this there are several NRA pamphlets, information, and other stuff hitting the tables for us to peruse and review.

The first portion of the training class is based on the Utah CCW criteria, since displaying an understanding requires successfully passing the Utah safety course.  There are also a couple NRA instructors and a NJ local police officer in the class that will be helping with the live fire portion of the class in the afternoon.

As we get started, there is a bunch of paperwork we are filling out.  After filling out some paperwork we had our fingerprints taken.

Through the progression of the class I am finding that Cam is much more thorough in the safety training than the previous class I took for my Utah, CCW class.  Cam seems to be very focused on making sure that the students understand all the parts functionality of the gun as well as the functionality of the gun.  This is a very good thing, and seems to be a good refresher for me as well, since I do not get to the range as much as I would like to these days.

The class then went to a deep dive on ammunition the different types, and the advantages and disadvantages of each one.  There was also a brief legal discussion around the legality of hollow point bullets in NJ and the ramifications of ending up in court using self defense rounds.  Seems it is pretty much guaranteed, even though it is not illegal to use them in NJ.  Next up a whole discussion around gun and ammunition malfunctions…

Other topics covered were fundamentals of shooting, eye dominance, shooting position, trigger discussion, breathing control, sight alignment, dry firing, After breaking for lunch we chatted about pistol selection, concealability of your pistol, sights/laser sights (advantages and disadvantages), holsters, storing your guns, and much more.

From there, we hit the range for safety and qualifying drills with Cam and other qualified NRA instructors.  All went well, everyone earned their certificates, and I got several pointers to help improve a couple of shooting habits that will help to improve my accuracy and safety going forward.

In all this was a great course.  I’ve been to a couple of these classes in the past and Cam clearly went into more depth than any of the other courses I had taken.  An experienced shooter might think this was too basic, but for someone who is inexperienced, this a a fantastic primer for them.  Regardless, it is required curriculum to even qualify for the CCWs, and you must go through the process, novice or expert.  If you are in the NYC, NJ, or Eastern PA areas, I think regardless of whether or not you want to get your Utah or Florida CCW course, it is worth taking the course with Cam and Green Academy of Personal Protection just for the education and lessons in gun safety.  In addition, Cam has a history of presenting in front of people so his delivery was more than professional and was very good at conveying the message to the audience.


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We’re a group of suburban preppers in the Northeast and live in the NYC suburbs that write The Suburban Survival Blog to talk about preparedness and self-reliance out there to help others prepare for what could be an uncertain future due to economic, weather, and other reasons.