..... The Basic Handgun Course .....

If you have not yet done so, also check out the course description on our "Home" page. Here, in a nutshell, is what's covered:  handgun fundamentals with heavy emphasis on safety and responsible use.

The student will become familiar with pistols and revolvers, the various types, their function, basic break down, ammunition, and, since this is a shooting course, proper hand grips and firing positions.

The introduction to firearms includes rifles and shotguns as well as handguns. However, the focus of this course is on handguns, their safe handling, loading and unloading; proper storage before and after use; basic cleaning; general care and their popular uses.

Also discussed, beyond self-defense firearms basics and the four universal safety rules, are, for example, developing a personal and home protection plan and a home defense and home security inspection checklist.

Other important matters are discussed. For example: when it's generally accepted to use deadly force inside the home; when not to use deadly force outside the home; and when it's better to seek cover in a safe location in one's home and calling 911 rather than use deadly force to defend one's property outside the home.

Brian presents the basics ....

Please visit the "About Class" page to become familiar with what you can expect in your class, at the range and other considerations.

Bear in mind that, in order to have reciprocity with other states, if you're a Maine resident, you still must acquire a Maine Concealed Carry Permit even though Maine law allows a resident to carry concealed in Maine without a Maine issued Concealed Handgun Permit. Well, almost everyone. Read on ....

Unless you're on Active military duty in a component of the U.S. armed forces, or are on Active duty in the National Guard or one of the Reserve components, and you're 18-20, if you wish to carry a handgun concealed in the State of Maine (or in a state agreeing with State of Maine policy), you must have a valid Maine Concealed Handgun Permit in your possession

It is hoped that, as a responsible citizen carrying a handgun concealed in Maine without a permit, you will realize your skill level and will seek out training. One of my favorite sayings, although it does not apply in all cases, is: "Just because one has a Concealed Carry Permit doesn't make one an expert."

In all likelihood, when one has NOT taken specific concealed carry training courses, yet carries concealed anyway, in most cases he/she really is not prepared to leave their home carrying a gun for self defense purposes although they may think otherwise.

Certainly, as an instructor, I am in business and I wish to be compensated for my time. That said, even if FVF doesn't benefit from your attendance in one of our courses, be a responsible person and seek training, continue to train thereafter, and keep abreast of available equipment and advances in methodology, as well as changes in related law.

Practice, practice, practice doesn't apply just to making it to Carnegie Hall. It's important in many endeavors, but especially so with regard to self preservation and possibly protecting the lives of others near and dear.

Note the positioning of each thumb as a student demonstrates the proper grip.

In order to receive FVF's certification to apply for a State of Maine Concealed Carry Permit, one must take and satisfactorily complete the four hour "Basic Handgun Course", the four hour "Advanced Handgun Course" and the required "Course of Fire" (range time) at the end of classroom instruction. These requirements constitute a total of approximately eight to nine hours hours of instruction.

As explained on our "Home" page, the cost of this "Concealed Carry Course" is $110.00 or $120.00, depending on who supplies the firearm, ammo and protective equipment (the student or FVF, respectively), less any applicable discount.

For those who are not yet certain if they wish to go the full route to applying for a concealed carry permit, taking just the "Basic Handgun Course" at first might be best. This course by itself costs $50.00, less any discount, if range time is NOT elected.

When range time is elected, the cost of this course is $60.00 (less any applicable discount) if the student supplies the firearm, ammo and protective equipment or $70.00 (less any applicable discount) if FVF supplies the necessary equipment. Just taking this course will provide one with enough instruction to become generally familiar with available handguns, firearms in general, and their safe use in the home.

If range time is desired at any time without first taking a course of instruction, an hour of range time may be arranged on a date and at a time convenient for both the student and the instructor.

In this latter instance, the cost for range time will depend on whether the student provides his/her own firearm, ammunition, hearing and eye protection or FVF provides this equipment.

If the student supplies, the cost is $20.00; if FVF supplies, the cost is $30.00. After signing in at the range, the student will receive the remainder of an hour of range time.

Range time may also be arranged if you would like to meet at the range with an instructor for a personal "Period of Consultation" with your firearm.

Prior to class, please inform the instructor, if you wish to bring your firearm to the classroom and to the range. Be advised, too, that although a student is permitted to bring their personal firearm into the classroom, personal ammunition is NOT allowed in the classroom.
At the range, FVF will provide firearms and ammo, as well as ear plugs and safety glasses. If you have your own ear guards and shooting glasses, it is okay to bring these to the range.
If you have any questions or concerns not addressed anywhere in the pages of this website, please use our "Contact Us" page, call or email.
Also, please let us know if a physical impairment is a concern. Please call or email us so that we can discuss accommodating you.

Be prepared to take good notes! It is suggested that students bring a notebook to class or some note paper and, perhaps a couple of different color pens/pencils!
To ease the burden of note taking, which often is a distraction causing the student to miss vital information, some pertinent handouts are provided.
For example, one of the handouts outlines the requirements for applying to the State of Maine for a Permit to Carry Concealed Handguns.
This is the FVF textbook!
Referred to throughout FVF courses is the 231 page FVF textbook published by USCCA entitled: "Concealed Carry and Home Defense Fundamentals". 
After taking the course, students will appreciate reading the textbook at home. It is an excellent refresher as well as a future reference.
Please note that FVF does not include the cost of the textbook in the cost of the course. This is necessary in order to offer a competitive price for our course. 
If a copy of the textbook is desired to take home, a student may purchase it for $20.00 plus $1.10 Maine Sales Tax. 
This price is slightly more than our cost.  It is available to others at the retail price of $25.00 plus $1.38 Maine Sales Tax. (Sorry. No discounts allowed on the sale of the textbook!)

If your goal is to apply to the Maine State Police, your local PD, or other town authority for the State of Maine Concealed Handgun Carry permit, the two handgun courses, Basic and Advanced, together with a "Course of Fire" must be taken consecutively. Attending and completing these courses may be done in either of two ways:

(1.) An approximately eight hour all day class may possibly be more convenient during the spring and summer "better weather and more daylight" months. This all day method is what we call our concealed carry course. It may be requested and taken this way. However, it is only available as an all day course in late spring, summer and most of October when there is adequate daylight at the range for qualifying. It makes for a long day! Classroom instruction is eight hours with an hour for lunch. Then there's 20 minutes or so driving time to the outdoor range where range time is shared by all students. This all adds up to a good nine and a half hour day - sometimes more!

(2.) Doing the two courses in two half day classes may be more convenient, especially during late fall and winter, the "not-so-good weather and less daylight" months. Both ways are essentially the same except, in the fall and winter months, range time is conducted right after lunch when there is plenty of daylight, although it may be cloudy (or raining!). In the spring and summer months there is more daylight in late afternoon, so range time is conducted then, after the last classroom lesson of the "Advanced Handgun Course" instruction is completed (or that of the "Basic Handgun Course" instruction, if only that course is taken).

We have found that the nearly ten hour "all day" method has pretty much taken a back seat to our two 4-hour-ish half day classes instead, especially in the late fall and winter. As mentioned earlier, nearly ten hours makes for a long day! And ... the weather may provide some interesting driving conditions.

In the late fall and winter months, we recommend that students take the half day class option instead. If it is still desired to complete the two classes in one day, it can be done! Range time would be conducted by meeting at the range right after lunch, i.e. in between the two classes. More comfortable temps might be available at 1:00 PM!

Of course, if a student does not intend to qualify and apply for the State of Maine Concealed Carry Handgun Permit and would still like to receive advanced classroom training or the student already has a permit and would like to receive refresher training, he/she may take either the "Basic Handgun Course" or the "Advanced Handgun Course" or both, as described herein and on the "Home" page.. 

Depending on one's experience, the student can decide whether to take range time or not. However, a concealed handgun carry permit qualifying Course Completion Certificate, reflecting that the student has completed instruction in both the "Basic Handgun Course" and the "Advanced Handgun Course", will be issued the student, only when range time is taken.

If range time is not taken, a certificate only reflecting completion of the "Basic Handgun Course" or the "Advanced Handgun Course" will be issued without the qualifying range time endorsement.

In the foregoing instance, the cost of either half day course is still $50.00, less any applicable discount.

By the way, a one time 10% discount on the purchase of a firearm from FVF is offered any student satisfactorily completing any course!

Students are encouraged to seriously consider purchasing the USCCA textbook. According to recent studies, typically, two weeks after attending the course, an average student may retain 10% of the information presented. A few students may recall as much as 20%, but this is rare.

In addition to a Course Completion Certificate, FVF provides a course completion letter which the student can mail to the Maine State Police or other permitting authority, such as the Bridgton (ME) PD. The letter states that the student completed the USCCA/FVF "Basic Handgun Course" and the "Advanced Handgun Course". The Maine State Police are aware that, unless stated otherwise, completing the latter class includes meeting the "Course of Fire" requirements. This letter must accompany the student's concealed handgun carry permit application.

Upon receipt of these documents, your permit application should be approved, assuming, of course, that you remembered to enclose the necessary payment with your application, you're not a felon and other "stuff" like that!

Thanks for taking the "Basic Handgun Course"!  When, and if, you proceed to read the "Advanced Handgun Course" page, almost unavoidably, you will find much of the information in the basic course repeated there to some degree. This is, of course, due to the relationship of one course to the other.

Interested in just buying the textbook and not in taking a course?  Find details how to do so on the "Extra Bang" page.

If you need more inspiration to take this course, links to three (3) supplementary PDF files are provided hereThese articles, due to time constraints required to present other course topics, are of such length that they cannot possibly be included in the "Basic Handgun Course" or the "Advanced Handgun Course". However, they're worthy of your time and consumption!

Because they're quite lengthy, if you would like to print them out, perhaps a good idea would be to first study them on your monitor/device and then just print out selected information for handy on-paper-reference later. This is good content with a lot of a detail, so take advantage of it. Doing so costs you little more than some time. That is to say, the price is right!

To download, just click on the related image: