On Sept 29-30, instructors from KR Training and RW Training co-taught a session of the state certified School Safety/Active Shooter course to a mixed group of teachers, church security personnel and interested armed citizens. The class was held at the Golden Triangle Gun Club near Beaumont, Texas. Our students had a wide range of experience, from frequent USPSA/IDPA competitors, facilitators with “A Girl and a Gun” chapters, military combat veterans, to carry permit holders with no other training.
In 2013, Texas passed a bill that would authorize armed teachers at K-12 schools if they passed a special training course. In 2017, the Texas Department of Public Safety began certifying a limited number of License to Carry instructors in the new course. This course content is general enough that it has value to anyone interested in active shooter response, and as a state-certified, state-developed course, the training it provides will be more legally defensible in court than other un-certified courses offered by private sector schools. The KR Training version of the course includes two additional live fire qualification courses: the shooting test from the NRA Defensive Pistol class, and the annual qualification course of fire used by a major Texas city’s police department. This provides graduates of the course additional documentation that they meet a national standard higher than the Texas License to Carry class (the NRA test), and a standard equivalent to what a typical responding police officer in our state has met.
With heavy rain expected for much of the day, the class started indoors with presentation of lecture material on the characteristics of active shooters, supported by case studies and video from specific incidents.
By the afternoon the rain had decreased and we were able to get to the range to shoot the qualification course of fire and the “Shooting Under Duress” block of drills, which used photorealistic targets showing school safety & active shooter scenarios.
Predictions of more rain turned out to be incorrect, and skies cleared, allowing us to run the remaining parts of the Shooting Under Duress module, including shooting at 50 yards. Drawing from a holster is not required in the official state curriculum, but since most teachers (and church security personnel and other armed citizens) are likely to be carrying concealed in a holster, our version of the course included additional training in proper draw technique (dry and live fire). We also used an assessment of each student’s gear as a way to discuss holster selection and position. Several students had the usual problems of wearing a holster designed to be worn behind the hip, with a forward cant, at their strong side, forcing the wrist into an awkward angle, or using an AIWB holster that placed the gun so low to the belt that a full firing grip could not be established with the gun holstered, or wearing a holster that closed up when the gun was drawn. We ended up loaning several students holsters for this part of the course.
After everyone had demonstrated that their open carry draw technique was safe and fast enough for the drills to follow, we ran everyone through the qualification course of fire from a major Texas city.
The passing score for this test, which included firing at 3, 7, 15 and 25 yards, was 70%. All 12 of the students in the course passed on their first attempt with a score of 85% or higher, including some that were shooting small / subcompact guns like the SIG P365.
We also ran the NRA Defensive Pistol shooting test, which required the students to draw from concealment. I’ve used this test as the “national” standard in this course several times now. Next time I run the course, I’m going to substitute the current FBI qualification course of fire in place of the NRA test as the national standard students have to meet.
The NRA test over emphasizes reloads, does not include one handed shooting, and (unlike any shooting qualification I can find in any of my review of historical qualification courses), can only be passed with a perfect score of 34 out of 34 in the acceptable hit zone of the NRA D-1 target. The other problem is the D-1 target itself. Overly sanitized, it has minimal relevance to human anatomy, compared to the FBI’s Q target.
All other tests, from the 1930s to the present day, have a maximum point score, with passing threshold at 70% or 80%. Four of the 12 passed the NRA test on the first attempt, many others dropped a few shots. Of the 8 that reshot the test, 4 more passed on the 2nd attempt with the others challenged by the requirement to shoot a perfect 34/34.
The afternoon was spent indoors, finishing up the lecture material and running roleplaying scenarios that taught tactics related to protecting classrooms against active shooters, building evacuation while armed, and interaction with uniformed responders.
The state-developed, state-certified class was designed to be appropriate for anyone with a carry permit. The course content is relevant to anyone interested in being prepared to survive an active shooter incident, not just teachers. KR Training ran multiple sessions of this course – both the official 2 day state version and shorter non-certificate versions for church security teams – in 2018, and we plan to offer the course in the full 2 day format at the A-Zone in 2019.
I’ll also be presenting a subset of that material in lecture form for the Austin Disaster Relief Network (ADRN) Preparedness Meet Up on November 8th at Riverbend church in Austin. You do not have to be an ADRN member to attend, and it’s free. Anyone in the Austin area interested in this topic is welcome to attend.