Do you teach Concealed Carry Permit (CCDW) Classes?

Yes… and no. Our ATA Pistol I class has been approved by Kentucky State Police as valid for obtaining concealed carry permit in Kentucky:

The ATA Pistol I Class offered by Appalachian Tactical Academy is recognized by the Department of Kentucky State Police (KSP) as approved CCDW license applicant training courses that meet the requirements for non-DOCJT training set forth in KRS 237.110(4)(i). 

Bottom Line: If you take our ATA Pistol I + KY CCDW class, then you will be able to get your CCDW permit in Kentucky and you DO NOT have to take another CCDW class.

We don’t otherwise teach “normal” concealed carry classes (like the DOCJT training class people in Kentucky normally take).

In our opinion, ATA Pistol I is a far more informative and beneficial class than the normal DOCJT class. It’s also a lot different than the normal CCDW classes you might be used to. Instead of sitting in a classroom talking about Kentucky state law for 6-8 hours, you will spend a lot of time on the range actually shooting and learning how to use your pistol as a life-saving tool.

I've been shooting guns my whole life, and I have a CCDW Permit. Can I skip ATA Pistol I and come straight to ATA Pistol II?

No. We totally respect that you’re an experienced shooter, but if you’ve never had any formal training (the CCDW class doesn’t count), then there are a lot of things you probably don’t know to be able to safely participate in ATA Pistol II. If you think that you should be able to bypass ATA Pistol I and come straight to ATA Pistol II then answer following questions:

  • Do you know what the three fundamentals of marksmanship are?
  • Do you know the four Universal Weapon Safety Rules?
  • Have you ever been taught the proper 4-count drawstroke for drawing your pistol during a gunfight?
  • Do you know what the three types of malfunctions are and how to clear them?
  • Have you ever done live-fire training on how to clear malfunctions?
  • Do you understand and apply the concept of workspace as it applies to combative shooting?
  • Are you familiar with the Tueller Principle and have you ever fired the Tueller Drill?

If you answered no to any of those questions, then we will not let you sign up for ATA Pistol II. I promise that ATA Pistol I won’t be a waste of your time or money.

If you have learned all that material at another credible shooting school (YouTube University doesn’t count), then let me know. Once you provide me with your certificate, then I would be more than happy to speak with you on the phone to get a handle on your experience and help determine if ATA Pistol II is right for you.

What skills should I already have/what should I already know before coming to a class?

While our entry-level classes are valuable even for experienced shooters, they are still just that: entry level. As such, you don’t need to “train up” for ATA Rifle I or ATA Pistol I. Regardless, it is still highly recommended that you know a few things about your weapon before you show up.

To that end, we have made a YouTube Playlist with several free videos that cover the material we want you know. Please click this link to watch those videos.

For starters, you need to understand the Four Universal Safety Rules. We will discuss these in detail during class, but you shouldn’t be a loose cannon when you show up. Those four rules are as follows:

  1. Treat every weapon as if it is loaded.
  2. Never point your weapon at anything you don’t intend to shoot.
  3. Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you intend to fire.
  4. Know your target, what’s beyond it, and what’s around it.

Secondly, it’s good to have just a basic knowledge of how your weapon works, to include loading and unloading it. We will also cover this topic in class, but it’s good to show up with some idea of how to fill up magazines and get ammo in (and out) of the gun.

Finally, it helps to have at least a little familiarity with your gear before you show up. If you don’t know how to use it, then we will teach you, but if you know how to put your holster together and wear it, then don’t show up to class with it still in the box. That just wastes everybody’s time.

I don't have a gun yet. Should I wait until I get one before I come to train?

Absolutely not. If I had this whole thing to do over again, I would get training before I bought a gun. The reality is that if you’re new to all this, then you really don’t know what kind of gun to get. You can read articles and blog posts about it all day long, but until you get a gun in your hand and actually get out to a class where you run it like a defensive tool, then you really don’t know what you want out of a gun.

We offer rental guns for the extremely low price of $30 per class. That price includes not just the gun, but also the magazines, holster, and magazine pouches you need to fully participate in the class. You can’t even buy a halfway-decent holster and mag pouches for $30.

If you don’t have a gun yet, or if your gun is inappropriate gun for the class (like a little pocket pistol), then just rent one of our guns and come take the class. The skills we teach are easier to learn on full-size service pistols like the kinds we have available for rent, and you will be able to transfer those skills to the pocket pistol you already own or whatever gun you decide to buy later. If you decide to wait until you have “the right gun”, then you are just hurting yourself. Come and learn, then go away with the lessons you learned and apply them to your weapon-buying decisions.

Do I have to have a Concealed Carry Permit to take one of your classes?

No. Whether you already have a Concealed Carry Permit or not, you are allowed to attend our classes and will benefit from them. If you carry concealed, you will learn how to fight with your gun.

What is the minimum age requirement to take a class?

With parental/guardian consent and supervision, we train children down to the age of 14, provided that the student in question is mature enough to safely participate. Otherwise, the minimum age requirement is 18 years old.

I would like to just come and watch your class without participating. Can I do that?

Yes. If you would like to attend the class as a spectator, then the cost will be 50% of the normal tuition price.Make sure to bring eye and ear protection.

Do you do private training?

Yes! We can do private training for you or your group. Email us at to discuss your needs.

I would like to take Class X, but it isn’t on your schedule. I can’t afford private training – how can I take that class?

If there is a class you want to take that we don’t have on our schedule, then consider hosting an open enrollment class. We will come to your location and conduct training. As long as the minimum number of students sign up, your slot will be free. We can train on private property as long as it is safe. Contact us at if you’re interested in hosting an open enrollment class.

Do you offer any discounts?

Yes, we offer discounts for first responders and military personnel. If one of the bullet points below describes you, then email us whenever you sign up for a class and let us know that you rate a discount.

  • Law Enforcement Officers
  • Firefighters
  • EMS Personnel
  • Corrections Officers
  • Military Members