The Benefits and Liabilities of Firearm Training

In today’s society, most law abiding citizens do not realize the importance and benefits of being trained to safely use their firearms. When someone thinks of firearm/gun training, they think of training that is meant for police officers and military personnel. People should learn to understand the reason why people in these professions train in multiple disciplines including firearm training.

Training to Reduce Liability

One reason is to be efficient in using your training to be prepare for the unexpected. The most important one that I hear in my career as a law enforcement officer is liability. Liability is “the state of being legally responsible for something: the state of being liable for something.” I’m not the type of person that would Monday morning quarterback the actions of an individual that was involved in using a weapon or a firearm in a single incident. We see these types of incidents on the News media every day.

People have the desire, whether it is a criminal or a police officer, to hold others liable for their actions. When there is a police officer involved shooting, the questions seems to always pop up; including “was the officer trained to shoot that many times.” This may appear to be a question only for a police officer but just as many law abiding citizens are carrying firearms for personal protection and thus, liability can apply to them as well. If you have not been around court rooms or know a legal attorney, you may not have experience with how our system judges people by their actions.

Most employers train their employees on how to perform the job and behave in the workplace. For example, if an employer fails to properly train an employee on how to cook a cheeseburger and employee serves an uncooked cheeseburger to a customer; the result is a person may get sick and file suit against the employer. The liability does not fall on the employee, the liability falls on the employer. Now you may think, how does that example relates to firearm training. Just think that you are the employer and your firearm is your employee.

You could be liable for how you use your firearm. In the worst case scenario, if you have to use your firearm for defense of life, would you want the State’s attorney, Judge and Jurors to review your Firearm Training record to read “Untrained gun owner who shot the attacker” OR “Law abiding citizen who is licensed to carry a firearm and trained in several firearm training disciplines which include: Firearm Home Safety Training, Personal Protection in the Home, Personal Protection outside the Home, Defensive pistol shooting, Basic pistol shooting, Active Shooter training, Instructor for teaching firearm tactics to civilians, etc.”

Training is done in all professions. The benefits are to reduce liability, increase your knowledge, skills, and awareness, and be prepared to react, make good judgments calls, and help teach others. You, as a responsibly armed citizen should invest in your firearm training. Put the liability on the bad guy.

About Patrick Jones

Patrick is currently an active law enforcement Lieutenant, with over 21years of experience in the field of Law Enforcement and Security Operations. He is a certified and Licensed Firearms Instructor in the by the State of Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board and IDFPR. He teaches a variety of training classes that's offered to businesses and the public. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and a Master Certification in Critical Infrastructure Protection.


  1. Paul Russell on August 23, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    You make it sound like a normal citizen who owns a weapon but can’t necessarily afford all of that training is somehow more likely to wind up in jail than the person who spends thousands of dollars for training. My state requires NO training before issuing a carry license. People generally don’t do what they don’t “need” and can’t afford.

    • Patrick Jones on August 23, 2015 at 6:29 pm

      I can understand how someone may interpret my message to be directed toward people who can not afford to attend additional training classes. This is simply an eye opener for people to consider training more. Training is your development of skills and attitude, something you can develop yourself and do not have to always pay for. Because something is not required, does not mean that a person should not do it. My purpose is to open the door for people to want more and not settle for less. The bad guy will put 100% into committing a crime to be successful in NOT getting caught. Why a law abiding citizen should not put in 110% to stop the bad guy for committing the crime against them?

      • Andrew Williams on February 9, 2016 at 7:53 pm

        Patrick I totally agree with you how ever I can not understand how someone can purchase a firearm and do not train with it. I am from Trinidad and Tobago and we are required to take several test before we are granted a firearm. When I say test I mean mental test and a class in how to properly use a firearm.

    • Trenton on August 5, 2023 at 9:25 pm

      Police do ongoing training. What they are saying is if you have no training, not on-going training, even a concealed carry class you have a liability issue.

  2. Derek Mcdoogle on April 3, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    In your article, you stated that in today’s society, most law abiding citizens do not realize the importance and benefits of being trained to safely use their firearms and when someone thinks of firearm/gun training, they think of training that is meant for police officers and military personnel. My wife and I have been trying to find a new activity that we could do together. I wonder what type of training would be required for us to get our licenses.

    • Patrick Jones on April 3, 2017 at 7:34 pm

      Hello Derek,

      You are right, most people would think that firearm training is only for police or military. We have a lot of firearm training organizations throughout U. S. bringing firearm safety and defense training to our civilian communities. I would recommend you and your wife take a basic firearm training course in your respective city/town. The National Rifle Association (NRA) and the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) offer recognized firearm training classes that can be used to apply for your permit/license.

  3. Frank Delaware on May 1, 2017 at 11:23 am

    My wife was telling me that she would like to learn how to use a gun properly, and I was curious about how you would benefit from it. It’s interesting that it can help you reduce liabilities when using a firearm. It would be nice to know that she will actually be able to handle the gun should the need arise.

  4. Kylie Dotts on October 5, 2017 at 7:35 am

    It makes sense that getting trained in how to handle a firearm would be important to ensure that you know what to do in the case of an emergency but also in order to protect yourself from the media. I think it’s quite the privilege we have to be able to carry firearms if we desire here in the States. Being able to have a firearm cover and walk around with it whether visible or not isn’t something many other people in the world have much less being able to be trained in how to handle them.

  5. Mack McCollum on February 11, 2018 at 2:19 am

    Patrick Jones

    I like your article, especially the bad guy go to 100% to commit a crime and don’t think about taking someone life. Gun owner and carry a gun for protection you should train 110% or more (in your comment). As a civilian now and owner of Close Quarter Shoot I believe you carry a gun you train with it. A good mindset, readiness and willingness Is 3 tactical elements of survival when you encounter a deadly force situation. Thanks

    • Patrick Jones on February 11, 2018 at 6:56 pm

      Thanks for your comment

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