Did you know that in 2020, Americans purchased over $17 million guns? That’s more than any in a single year for the last 20 years. Not only is this figure staggering, but a study conducted by Northeastern University and Harvard Injury Research Control demonstrated that ⅕ of these purchases were made by first-time gun buyers, ½ of whom were women.
The importance of firearm safety and training
Whatever a person’s reasons are for exercising their 2nd Amendment rights, it should go without saying that as the number of firearm owners increases in the US, proper instruction on firearm safety is more important than ever. Responsible gun ownership and safety and training is a vital part of the equation. From the four standard rules that every gun owner needs to abide by, receiving a thorough training on how to hold and use a firearm correctly not only builds confidence for new users, but helps save lives as well. RVnGO stresses that all gun owners abide by state and federal law when it comes to safety and responsible ownership. This article is not a debate over guns. We recognize that most outdoor enthusiasts also enjoy activities involving firearms, so we developed this list of the Best Firearms Training Facilities In The US.
Plus, many firearm training facilities are located out in nature, making them a great destination for nature lovers as well. For each of these destinations, when you’re done at the range there’s still so much more to do!
Below are our six picks for the top firearm safety and training programs for the firearm enthusiast and new firearm owners, as well as RV campgrounds and things to do in each area nearby.
Firearm Safety and Training Programs
Front Sight Firearms Training Institute
Based out of Bakersfield, CA, Front Sight Firearms Training Institute offers one, two, and four day courses on a little bit of everything for firearm enthusiasts. Through Front Sight’s many different tiered programs, participants are given the opportunity to hone their skills with handguns, rifles, shotguns, automatics, and even rope and rappel and martial arts courses! As Front Sight also offers self defense and educational programs for teens and children, the organization prides itself on having a support and affirmation-based teaching style, without any “boot camp” mentality.
For their comprehensive yet no-frills programs and their platform of positive affirmations in education, Front Sight Firearms Training Institute is an excellent choice for beginners looking to attend their first training program.
Things to Do In Bakersfield:
California Living Museum | Murray Family Farms
RV Campgrounds Near Bakersfield:
At Paulden, Arizona, the establishment formerly known as ‘American Pistol Institute’ offers weeklong training courses in safe gun handling. During Gunsite Academy’s program, participants will learn marksmanship at the level best suited to their abilities in handgun, carbine, shotgun, bolt action rifle, precision rifle, and even foreign weapons training.Beyond how to handle firearms themselves, the program also teaches and reinforces the proper mindset that comes with the responsibilities of safe gun handling as one of its main educational tenets. All of the instructors at Gunsite Academy are former law enforcement officers or military personnel.
For people looking to immerse themselves in longer training courses, Gunsite Academy is a great option. Gunsite also offers shorter, offsite training classes in Alaska, Colorado, Indiana, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Things to Do in Paulden:
Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary | Granite Creek Vineyards
RV Campgrounds Near Paulden:
Universal Shooting Academy
The Universal Shooting Academy (USA) is located in central Florida, with courses ranging from beginners to advanced shooters. The variety of training programs at USA are designed for handgun, shotgun, and rifle shooting. These courses are run and designed by Frank Garcia, International and US Champion Grandmaster Pro. In addition to the training programs, USA also sponsors and hosts a number of competitive shooting events, both local and national. These competitions include USPSA, IPSC, the Florida Open Pistol Shooting Tournament, and the US IPSC Nationals.
Things to Do In Frostproof:
Lake Wales Ridge State Forest | Crooked Lake Prairie
RV Campgrounds Near Frostproof:
Sig Sauer Academy
New Hampshire’s Sig Sauer Academy is an excellent Northeast option for firearm training. Because of its extensive training options and convenient location, it’s our top pick for firearm training in New England. Only an hour away from Boston, Sig Sauer is set on 140+ acres in Epping, NH, and the Academy utilizes every bit of space for its students. With dozens of courses for handguns, rifles, and shotguns, as well as practice shoot houses, maritime training areas, and urban environments to learn in, Sig Sauer has established itself as an elite program amongst firearm enthusiasts across the country. Sig Sauer also gets points for having training courses specifically for women!
In addition to its main campus in Epping, Sig Sauer also offers a wide variety of classes in offsite locations at New Smyrna Beach and Titusville, Florida.
Things to Do in Epping:
Flag Hill Distillery & Winery | Swasey Parkway
RV Campgrounds Near Epping:
NRA Whittington Center
The NRA Whittington Center is a veritable wonderland for firearm enthusiasts. Its sprawling 33,000+ acres and 25 ranges are home to so many activities, there’s even a museum and research library on the premises!
There are two distinct schools of training taught by the NRA Whittington Center: Whittington U Defensive Academy and Whittington U Precision Academy. As the name suggests, the Defensive Academy is structured around survival tactics and the region’s single holstered conceal carry training. At the Precision Academy, students learn and master long range marksmanship out on Raton’s scenic mountains. The Whittington Center also features guided and unguided hunts on its land as well as its two-week long youth program, Adventure Camp, for children 13-17 in the summer.
Things to Do in Raton:
Sugarite Canyon State Park | Raton Pass
RV Campgrounds Near Raton:
GPS Defense Sniper School
For military and law enforcement operators, as well as private citizens looking to become experts in long range shooting, the GPS Defense Sniper School prides itself on being a premier sniper and long range precision rifle development program. GPS offers highly intensive, one and two day courses based out of Cowtown Ranch, approximately 40 minutes from Phoenix, AZ. Although the courses also include pistol and carbine practice, GPS is famous for their sniper rifle program, which has produced advanced alumni that include American Sniper’s Chris Kyle.
In addition, GPS also offers a range of specialized courses related to sniping. These programs include stalking and tracking, known/unknown distance training, reactive targets to 1,000 yards, high-angle and rooftop shooting, and more.
Things to Do in Peoria:
Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament | Sahuaro Ranch Park
RV Campgrounds Near Peoria:
What do you think of our picks for firearm safety and training programs? Have any training academies that you think are better? Let us know in the comments below and remember to check out RVnGO to help you get there.