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  • never used/fired a gun before

    I'm 20 yrs. old and will graduate college next year. I hope to get hired by a department here in Texas. The problem is though, that I'm worried that I may struggle in an academy because I have never used a gun before. Will this set me behind those that will be in the academy with me that already has LE experience, that is a hunter, or that has experience with weapons. Is there anybody here that has had this problem also. If so, how did everything turn out?

  • #2
    Try to look at the plus side: you won't have any bad habits to overcome and you'll be trained from a clean slate.

    You may be a little behind at first, but if you train well you'll likely be ahead at the end.

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    • #3
      Never Fire A Gun In TEXAS ????????

      Let's get this straight, You are in Texas and have never fired a gun before ????? This sounds very strange.

      However there are probably many larger gun stores in the Great State of Texas that have indoor ranges whwere you can take lessons and even rent a gun. We have them here in Ohio so there must be tons more in the Longhrorn State.

      Here I thought its was illegal not to own a gun in your state
      Last edited by Bodie; 07-11-2004, 05:37 PM.

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      • #4
        LOL Bodie you kill me. I was about to post words to the same effect but you beat me to it.

        Too be honest, I wouldn't touch a gun until you are hired. All you'll do is learn bad habits, unless you have a good instructer. Your extra money in college can be better spent on beer and women, and let someone else pick up the bill to learn to shoot.
        I know I should feed the trolls but it is just SO hard.

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        • #5
          Let me paint you two pictures:

          #1. Person enters the academy having never touched a gun in his life. He's truly afraid of it at first. He gets some special attention early on when he loads his first magazine backwards (I didn't even know you could DO that) and jams his pistol. But after that embarassing episode he pays attention, does what he's told and becomes more comfortable.

          #2. Person enters the academy after allegedly spending time in Special Forces. His hobby is guns. Future plans include "working for a few years as a cop to learn the ropes, then opening a shooting school to teach tactical firearms use". Displays extraordinarily bad habits and is borderline unsafe. He gets LOTS of special attention from the instructors (much of which results in him running a lot of laps). His targets regularly look like he's shooting a shotgun, rather than a rifled pistol round.

          Guess which one did better in the competitive shoot at the end of firearms training? Guess which one didn't finish the academy? Guess which one is working as a cop and which is back working as a mechanic?

          Don't bother trying to learn anything on your own at this point. Every firearms instructor I talk to says they would rather have the 'blank slate' willing to learn than the know-it-all with bad habits. Just make sure you pay attention, do as you're instructed to and learn from your mistakes.
          Caution and worry never accomplished anything.

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          • #6
            If you're that concerned you could start by reading up on firearms. That way you'll have a basic understanding of how they operate, the differences between different weapons, what's required for maintenance, etc.

            Then you can learn the practical side at the academy.

            Remember, most law enforcement agencies aren't looking for people who are "already" police officers. They're looking to hire conscienscious, respectable, responsible citizens who they can train to be police officers.
            People always tell the truth. The trick is knowing what to listen for.

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            • #7
              Never used/fired a gun

              It's not an issue,don't make it one. Many firearms instructors prefer personnel who have never fired a weapon.They have no bad habits to correct.Listen to the lectures.Practice safety at all times.Concentrate.You'll be okay. Now,quit worrying.

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              • #8
                I would prefer not to have a person on range with me that has never handled or fired a gun. This happened once and I swore it would never happen again. Several of us could have been accidently shot.

                The best advice to give this youngster is to get some basic gun handling experience and fire about 50 or so rounds. No intense leo training etc just the basics of gun handling and safety with a certified instructor on a professional range and fire a few rounds.

                Some peole have found they can't handle a gun and therefore decide to not become a leo and if they wait until the academy to learn this they have wasted a lot of time.

                If your then not comfortable with the idea you may have to fire a gun to save your own life or the life of another you can then redirect your career goals.

                Moat instructors I know dread a raw recruit in class because they really do not know what to expect. We had a girl in a class once that broke down and cried the first time she fired a gun and then later quit. We had an older guy point a hot 9MM across range and 6 of us hit the ground as the instructor ran to take the gun away. He later was washed out too.

                Go to an range. Get some basics. Fire a few rounds to get comfortable so you know and feel some level of comfort. It would be totally embarrassing to wash out later because you can't handle any aspect of what it takes to handle a gun.
                Last edited by Bodie; 07-11-2004, 05:39 PM.

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                • #9
                  Handling/Firing a gun isn't really a big deal. Basically, treat every gun as if its a loaded gun. Never point the gun at another individual (until you've been trained proper force continuums).

                  I've seen alot of people who "grew up" around guns and don't understand the technique of indexing. That is, keeping your index finger off the trigger and on the frame of the gun so you don't accidentally discharge the weapon.

                  Most importantly, listen to your instructors and not what you've seen on TV including reality shows like "Cops". Safety is paramount.
                  If you are a terrorist, beware, because your last day was yesterday.

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                  • #10
                    When I first started the academy nearly seven years ago, I had never fired a weapon before. I bought a pistol to use and left the rest up to my instructors. Back then, I qualified with a score in the mid to upper 80 percent range. After getting hired, my scores gradually climbed since we are mandated to qualify twice a year. I wanted to try out for SWAT, but was nervous that I might not make the required score. I did try out, though, exceeded the score, and now regularly shoot around 98 percent. My point is this: practice what your instructors teach, practice more, and don't sweat it too much. With time and practice your scores will rise.
                    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body; but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, 'Wow! What a Ride!'"

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                    • #11
                      NAVY GUY I like your advice except when you go to the firing range always assume the gun is loaded and ready to fire. Enjoy college while you still there.
                      Stay safe and watch your back. Survived Katrina. Now a Official member of the Chocolate City Police.

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                      • #12
                        Trust me, these guys on this board KNOW THEIR STUFF. They give better advice than some of my FTOs I've had since I graduated the academy.

                        Check out this thread I started when I first got to the range portion of my training when I was in the academy:

                        http://forums.officer.com/forums/sho...threadid=22041
                        "Do what you can stand."

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                        • #13
                          The academy will assume nobody has ever touched a gun before when they start instructing you. Most of my class never did and for the most part they did just fine. Those who struggled got extra attention. Nobody failed because they couldn't shoot. Several got fired because they continually violated major safety issues so make sure you pay attention to what you are doing. There were a few of us who shot before and I suspect we were more comfortable at first. We were better shots than our classmates but that was just a result of practice.

                          Don't sweat it. Just keep your mouth shut and your eyes and ears open. LISTEN to the instructors and do what they say. You'll be fine with the shooting.
                          I intend to go in harm's way. -John Paul Jones

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                          • #14
                            Bluntly if you go to firearms training and have never fired or handled a gun you will feel like a completet idiot and have to play catch up so the money spent to learn the basics of the gun and fire a few rounds will take anyway any anxious feelings you have and make you a better student.

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                            • #15
                              I geuss I took it for granted that everyone grows up with guns. I never had much experience with pistols but picked it up just fine. However I had plenty of hunting experience, so I wasn't scared of guns. I did have to "un-learn" some bad practices.
                              I know I should feed the trolls but it is just SO hard.

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