Getting My CCW Permit
in Chattanooga, Tennessee
Page Two


By M. S. J.

Page Two of this Tennessee CCW report.

On March 5, 2005 I took my Permit to Carry class at Sportsman's Indoor Shooting. The address is 4824 Hixson Pike, and the phone number there is 423-875-4868. Permit classes are offered twice a month, and you need to call ahead of time to get in on a class. The friendly owner is named Carl, and I apologize for not catching his last name. Here is a photo of the building on Hixson Pike. It was a cloudy morning.

Here's a sign in front of the building, with my car below:

The class met in a very nice classroom on the basement level, which is also where the shooting range is located. This makes it very convenient, especially if the weather outside is wet or wintery. There were several posters on the wall, hunting pictures, a target of Osama Bin Laden, and a slogan banner across the front: "If you learn it right, you'll do it right the rest of your life. If you learn it wrong, you'll do it wrong and you'll spend the rest of your life trying to do it right." Upstairs Carl has a good selection of pistols, rifles, and fishing gear.

As soon as we arrived, we checked in, and payed Carl $75 for the class. You can pay with cash or check. The Permit class began at 9 AM. There were only five students (four men and a woman) in the class, so there was plenty of opportunity for asking questions, and even getting to know each other a little bit. Our ages ranged from early twenties to about sixty. I didn't see everyone's firearms, but I believe we all had 9mm (me) and up. The lady had a 357 Taurus revolver. One guy was shooting a Glock, and another guy had a .45, but I couldn't tell the make. Carl made the classroom situation friendly by providing snack food and candy. There was a rest room just outside in the hallway.

I was particularly pleased to find that our teacher was a law enforcement officer with 21 years of experience on the Chattnooga Police Force. Mark Haskins is also on the S.W.A.T team, a sniper, and supervises the Regulatory Bureau. He has a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Tennessee, and his email address is: haskins_mark@mail.chattanooga.gov. I believe he did a great job teaching the class.

CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION COVERED:

I took notes, because I was preparing for this web page. However, there were information sheets provided, and it really wasn't necessary to take notes. All anyone needed to bring for the class was a pen or pencil for taking the written exam. There was a thirty-question written exam -- 15 questions were multiple choice, and 15 were true or false. I missed one question. All of the material had been covered well in the classroom instruction earlier; and the instructor went over the test carefully before giving it. I'm sure everyone passed.

After some instruction in shooting technique, in which each student received personal coaching using the laser target (our instructor believes this particular permit class to be the only one in Tennessee using the "BeamHit Laser Training System") we went to the shooting range.

The indoor shooting range at Sportsmans is quite nice with about ten shooting "booths," each with separate lighting, and a switch for electrically moving your target closer or farther away.

We began with empty magazines (I had to unload mine, because I had come with them loaded already), and we charged our weapons on command with six cartridges, and shot volleys of six rounds. We shot 50 rounds all together. We shot at distances of 3 yards, 7 yards and 15 yards. All of the shooting was done on a "take your time" basis. I believe everyone shot well enough to pass this part of the class. My Ruger P95DC functioned perfectly. Here is my own target, on which I received a score of 48. I'm not exactly sure what 48 means, but I believe I did as well as the other students. At 7 yards, I was able to keep all my shots within a few inches of the center. I got a little wilder at 15 yards, I'm afraid!

When the class was finished, we each received a "Certificate of Completion for Handgun Safety Course." This certificate is valid for six months, for applying for the Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit. We also were given an official Application for a Handgun Carry Permit, and instructions about where to go to apply (at a Drivers License Station). After making the application, and signing it at the Drivers License Station when asked to do so, and paying your $115 fee, they (at the DLS) tell you how to make an appointment for finger printing. You get that done, and then wait. In less than 90 days, your Permit will come to you in the mail.

I hope this will be an encouragement to someone to get a carry permit. The class is fun, and it's not that hard to do. It just takes some time, and enough money to pay for the class ($75), and the permit ($115). I believe the permit class at Sportsmans is top notch. Facilities and instruction were both great. It was a really pleasant experience for me, and I highly recommend it to everyone in the Chattanooga, TN area.

I will continue this report on a third page, when I go next week to make application, and get my fingerprints taken.

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