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The Aqua Quest Rogues: A Dry Bag for All Occasions

If you’re the kind of person who likes to be prepared for anything, then you need a Rogue dry bag from Aqua Quest. As someone who spends a lot of time outdoors, I know how damaging water can be to gear and equipment. Enter, the rogues…. These bags are 100% waterproof, heavy-duty, and come in a variety of sizes to suit all of your needs. Whether you’re a camper, in the military, a hiker, or just someone who likes being outdoors, the Rogue dry bag is perfect for you.

Aqua Quest Rogue Dry Bags

100% WATERPROOF


The Rogues’ fabric is waterproof-coated inside and out, and withstands even quick temporary submersion. Precision heat-taped seams and a reliable rolldown closure ensure that these dry bags show no sign of weakness when fighting off water. Also completely protects contents from snow, mud, sand and dust. I was pretty impressed with the light weight and sub $30 price point.

Aqua Quest Rogue Dry Bags

HEAVY-DUTY AND VERSATILE

Constructed of resilient 70 D nylon with durable stitching, Rogues are AQ’s most rugged dry bag and are overbuilt to endure the toughest tests in outdoor adventuring. They’ve also mounted 2 burly D-rings to each bag, so they can be securely tied up, strapped down or lashed together. The Rogue comes in 5 sizes spanning 10, 20, 30, 60 and 100 L volumes to solve waterproofing dilemmas big and small. And with a wider opening and body than most dry bag profiles. It’s also one of the few quality dry bags I’ve found available in M81 Woodland Camo!

Aqua Quest Rogue Dry Bags
Click the image for the M81 Varient

LIFETIME WARRANTY

AquaQuest products are backed by a Lifetime Warranty. AQ’s customer service is based in the Pacific Northwest, where they have designed and tested waterproof gear since 1994. See the AquaQuest website or call toll-free for more info.

Conclusion:
If you’re looking for a dry bag that can stand up to anything, look no further than the Rogue from AquaQuest. These bags are 100% waterproof and heavy-duty, making them perfect for all your outdoor adventures. So whether you like to camp, hike, or just be prepared for anything, the Rogue dry bag is the perfect choice for you.

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The Snugpak Special Forces Bivvi Bag: Why You Need It

Snugpak Special Forces Bivvi Bag

The Snugpak Special Forces Bivvi Bag is a must-have for anyone who wants to be prepared for any situation, whether you’re an experienced camper or just starting out. The bivvi bag is made of Paratex Dry fabric, which is completely waterproof and durable, yet lightweight enough to take with you anywhere. The Special Forces Bivvi Bag is also windproof, so you can be sure you’ll stay warm even in the most extreme conditions. What makes the Special Forces Bivvi Bag different from other bivvi bags on the market is its center half-length zip and wider chest, which make it easier to get in and out of.

Snugpak Special Forces Bivvi Bag

The Snugpak Special Forces Bivvi Bag is also best suited for use with the Softie Antarctica or the Special Forces System. However, you can also carry the bivvi bag on its own for emergencies, or use it with a sleep system for wild camping.

Why Do You Need A Bivvi Bag?

A bivvi bag is an essential piece of gear for anyone who loves spending time outdoors. Whether you’re an experienced camper or just starting out, a bivvi bag can come in handy in a variety of situations. Here are three reasons why everyone needs a bivvi bag:

1. You never know when you might need it. Whether you’re out on a day hike and get caught in a storm, or you find yourself stranded overnight while camping, a bivvi bag can provide essential protection from the elements. If you don’t have a bivvi bag with you, you could find yourself in serious trouble if the weather takes a turn for the worse. With the Bivvi bag’s dimensions at 90 inches long by 33 inches wide when deployed, there is more than enough room.

2. It’s light and compact. A bivvi bag doesn’t take up much room in your backpack, so there’s no excuse not to bring one along on your next outdoor adventure. You’ll be glad you have it if you need it! It comes with a stuff sack and packs down to a travel-friendly 6 inches by 4 inches; lightweight and weighs 12 ounces.

3. It’s affordable. Bivvi bags are relatively inexpensive, especially when compared to other pieces of camping gear like tents and sleeping bags. Why spend hundreds of dollars on gear that you might not even need when you can get a high-quality bivvi bag for less than $150?

Conclusion

The Snugpak Special Forces Bivvie Bag is an essential piece of gear for anyone who loves spending time outdoors. It’s light and compact, so there’s no excuse not to bring one along on your next hike or camping trip or bug out bag. And at less than $150, it’s an affordable investment that could potentially save your life someday. So what are you waiting for? Get yourself a Snugpak Special Forces Bivvie Bag today!

Buy the SnugPak Special Forces Bivvie Bag on Amazon HERE.

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HOPLITE NVG FOCUSING COVER – By Phokus Research

The Hoplite was developed by SOF end users to reduce far to near focusing time.  This is accomplished through a simple hinged aperture control similar to the field made ones used by operators for years. The patented technology provides unrivaled speed for target identification of threats at 5 feet or 300 yards. The hinged cover gives operators a critical advantage by allowing NVG’s to stay focused out to infinity while simultaneously allowing Target ID of near threats by flipping the cover closed. Warfighters commonly modify their dust covers to gain this same advantage only to discover unreliable transitioning and functional inconsistency.  The Hoplite also helps to protect the objective lens of the NVG.  Tens of thousands of NVG’s are damaged each year due to lens scratches and cracks. The improved Hoplite design replaces the existing dust cover and sacrificial lens.

HOPLITE NVG FOCUSING COVER

The Hoplite NVG Focusing Cover is a great addition to your night vision goggle kit.  The rugged hinge allows the aperture to fold back against the goggle’s body so as to be out of the way.  But, it is immediately available for engagement.  The Hoplite makes use of three different apertures.  The kit comes complete with two smaller aperture inserts that can be placed into the larger aperture hole in the cover.  These sizes were carefully chosen to offer the operator the most useful focal distances.  They include 1/8″, 3/16″, and 5/16″ openings.  The smaller the opening, the more added infrared light is required to boost the image.

hoplite NVG focusing device dual tube

Obviously, the infinity/close focus effect is achieved by limiting the amount of the light gathered by the objective lens of the goggle.  So, your image will be darker when the Hoplite is engaged.  For this reason, we find it is best used in areas with higher amounts of ambient light to help offset the diminished light effect.  It is especially useful while driving a vehicle because the instrument panel is in focus at the same time as the terrain while the instrument panel’s lights provide the added illumination.  It is also a very useful tool in urban settings where there is more likely to be more man-made ambient light.  Regardless, it is a good idea to have a tertiary infrared illuminator at the ready.

Hoplite focusing device visual acuity chart

Benefits of Using The Hoplite Focusing Cover

tactical advantages of the hoplite phokusing cover

Installation and Use of the Hoplite

installation and use of the hoplite focusing cover

The Specs

MANUFACTURERPHOKUS Research Group
WEIGHT0.88 oz.
MATERIALS

ACCESSORIES
Polycarbonate, 18-8 Stainless Steel

1/8″, 3/16″, and 5/16″ Openings Included

Hoplite NVG Focusing Cover Compatibility

The Hoplite is compatible with a wide variety of makes and models including:

AN/PVS-7

AN/PVS-7B(D)

ANVIS-9 (F4949)

AN/PVS-14

AN/PVS-15

AN/PVS-18

AN/PVS-23 (F5050)

M944 Pocket Scope

AN/PVS-31

BNVD-1531

RNVG

DTNVS

GPNVG

Cost and Discount Codes

The Hoplite runs about $100 for the single and of course $200 for the dual tube set up. Check out Phokus Reasearch at their website HERE. Be sure to use the discount code for the Hoplite Focusing Cover COPTALK10 for 10% off your ENTIRE order.

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What roll pins does the AR-15 use?

The AR-15 uses a variety of screws, roll pins, springs and detents to keep all the right parts in all the right places.

In this article I’ll be listing out the types and sizes of roll pins used in the platform, and the approximate prices for each.

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Commonly used roll pins.

As you can see from the list above, the AR uses quite a few different roll pins for several parts. Many of these assemblies are something that the average armorer or shooter will never mess with. For instance, when is the last time you ever had to change out a roll pin on a milspec charging handle latch?

Common roll pins needed for the AR15

Let’s stick to the basics here. The roll pins most commonly needed and used by the end user are the:

The Ejector is less commonly needed by the average user, but as an armorer or serious shooter it’s always good to keep a few spares for your Ejector.

Types of roll pins

There are a lot of options out there when it comes to roll pins for your rifle or Carbine. Sonlets break down the types and why. Here we are going to cover the 3 most common:

  • Split Pins
  • Wave Tension Pins
  • Coiled Roll Pins

Split Tension Roll Pins

Split Tension Pins

Split Pins are the most common ones you will see in most lower parts kits and basic builds. They are cheap and effective and do a good enough job. The downside to split Pins is that they can split on you during installation, possibly even causing damage to your other parts or receivers. One issue caused by cheaper or improperly installed split Pins is the formation of a flat face where the split is. This can cause the pivot movement of the installed part to not be as smooth as it could be.

  • Cost: .25 cents to $1.99 each

Wave Tension Roll Pins

Wave Tension pin

Wave tensions pins are not as common as split or coiled pins. They are generally used in applications where the pins may shift during use or installation. Spring Wave Pins have interlocking teeth which restricts the chance of movement when exposed to vibration. The slot along the length of one side compresses closed when inserted.

  • Cost: .50 cents to $3 each

Coiled Roll Pins

Coiled Roll Pin

Coiled Roll Pins are some of the best to use in firearms applications. They are easy to install, resistant to vibration, and form a consistently round surface for parts to pivot, such as the Bolt catch. They can require a little bit more effort to install, but not much, which make these my go to option for our lower parts kits and roll pins.

Common coiled roll pins are made from spring steel or stainless. For most applications your standard spring steel pins work great. For those extreme applications where salt water or humidity are a concern, 18-8 or 420 stainless pins are the way to go.

Where to get the best roll pins?

Shameless plug here, but here at JTF Consulting, we pride ourselves on offering some of the best American made parts at a reasonable price, including roll pins. We often charge less than other brands for a superior product, don’t believe us? Compare our prices in our shop to some of the other retailers.

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BCG With OCKS Gas Key Screws

You may have seen these relatively new screws floating around already, Forward Controls Design carries them not to mention we carry them in our store. So you’re probably looking for a BCG With OCKS Gas Key Screws, if so check out our BCGs here. OCKS are quickly becoming the new standard in gas key screws for the AR-15 platform. But why?

What are OCKS?

Before we get to that answer, what does OCKS even stand for? It’s an acronym put together by combining the first letter in the actual name of the product:

  • O – Optimized
  • C – Carrier
  • K – Key
  • S – Screws

They were dreamt up and created by Ned Christiansen, a master machinist and gunsmith who saw a need for superior gas key screws. Gas key screws are an often overlooked, yet essential part of the AR’s internal workings. They hold in place the gas key which not only is used to direct the gas into the BCG to effect cycling, but is also where the charging handle makes contact when you manipulate the weapon.

optimized carrier key screws
OCKS

The Problem

Bolt carrier group fit, finish and part quality vary tremendously across brands and manufacturers. Many big name companies like FN and Colt actually use BCGs from AO Precision or Toolcraft who are known for quality and consistency. Nowadays just like how everyone seems to make an AR, everyone is also making AR parts and not everyone makes them to the same level of quality or standard. This was apparent in some of the early to mid 2000s when the AR market exploded and demand was out pacing supply. Some BCGs were using cheap Chinese YFS screws on their gas keys which would either break, or come loose due to improper torqueing or staking. A failure like that at the gas key will take your gun out of the fight, hard. The original Spec calls for grade 8 screws to be used, but not every manufacturer follows that.

Cue Ned Christiansen

Ned saw this need and designed a product to meet and exceed the need. His screws are made from quality, US made steel and are Grade 8 on a bad day. They feature aggressive knurling and then 12 DEEP splines around it as well to have that metal from the key flow into them and hold it in place. On top of all that, they just make it look a little more badass too in my opinion.

In Conclusion

If you are looking to replace some YFS gas key screws or your gas key, I’d highly recommend you outfit your BCG With OCKS Gas Key Screws and either get them staked properly through us, or yourself if you are capable.

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The Best Ankle IFAK for 2022

best ankle IFAK
North American Rescue AFAK

Let’s all just agree on one thing up front, IFAKs are great. Perfect to keep on hand for a variety of reasons and one way to make them even better: put together the best ankle first aid kit! Personally I love using an Ankle IFAK or also called an AFAK on and off duty. Main reason being I’m not usually running around town in my battle belt or plate carrier, but I still want some basic gear with me throughout my day. So let’s break it down and look at the pros and cons.

PROS of the AFAK

There are some obvious reasons to set up an ankle IFAK. Primarily for me is conceal-ability and the ability to use with a variety of outfits. With loose fitting jeans, slacks or uniform pants the AFAK blends right in and is hardly noticeable. Another pro is that you don’t have to carry another backpack, bag or whatever with you just to hold your basic bleed kit.

For QRF or quick deployment, you can also just wear it over clothing around your ankle as well. I’ve done that on several call outs to serve warrants and such. Worn either way is comfortable and I often find myself forgetting it’s there!

tactical medic AFAK

CONS of the AFAK

So obviously there are some cons as well… primarily capacity. The ankle IFAK has pretty limited capacity, you have to find that balance of form and function. You want to carry enough to be effective but not so much that you are wearing a bulky ankle weight that stands out.

Another con is cost. The ankle pouch/holster usually costs between $35 to $70 alone without any supplies. A decent IFAK pouch is usually half that price, like this rip-away one from ORCA Tactical, one of my favorites. The ankle set up I like to use is from Ryker Nylon and is one of the better ones in my opinion, it runs for $59 on Amazon when it’s in stock.

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So what goes in it?

So you decided on an AFAK, and now you want to stock it. My simple rule to follow is go with what you know. Don’t stock your kit with shit you don’t know how to use. If you have basic training and skills, stock it with basic supplies.

That being said here are some basic supplies I recommend:

  • Tourniquet – Probably the most important, I like Recon Medical and Tac-Med Solutions
  • Chest Seals – If your ankle kit can hold them, the Ryker Nylon has a pocket just for it!
AFAK
  • Flat fold pressure bandage or ETB – Good for a variety of wounds
  • Vacuum packed gauze with or w/o a hemostatic
  • Gloves
  • Shears

That assortment with help you handle a good amount of injuries without being to bulky, of course I recommend you augment your kit with your own inputs. I hope this article gave you a little more information on ankle medical kits to help you reach a decision. Check out our store to see what medical gear we have in stock to help you get started!

Try this AFAK from The Tactical Medic to get started!

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Easiest way to get your CHL in Texas

Online Texas License To Carry Course

So you want to get your concealed handgun license or license to carry in Texas? Well the easiest way to get your CHL in Texas is through us or one of partners! Best of all, the majority of the work can be done from your smartphone, tablet or computer.

Online Texas License To Carry Course

Online

So before doing the shooting qualification for your license, you have to attend the classroom portion. This comprises of an overview of the rules, laws and ordinances you have to follow, as well as the legal repercussions if you don’t. Used to be that you had to sit in a physical classroom for at least 4 hours, no longer. Now you can take the state recognized course online at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home or office! You can even save your progress and return to it at a later time if you need to step away.

What comes next?

So you have successfully completed the online course and are ready for the next step, so what come next? That’s also pretty easy! You just contact us and schedule your firearms qualification with one of our certified instructors and then submit the appropriate paperwork to the Texas Department of Public Safety! Our staff will help you through the entire process and answer any of your questions to help make getting your license a smooth and easy process. We really do try to make it the Easiest way to get your CHL in Texas.

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Additional Classes

Most people think that once you get the license, you’re good to go. To an extent that is true, Texas doesn’t require any other training other than your refresher class when it comes time to renew your license. Here at JTF we always recommend that as responsible citizens and gun owners, that you seek out a higher level of training, even if it’s not with us. Here are a few classes that we highly recommend:

Jake F.
Jake F.

Owner and instructor at JTF – Army medic (68W) for 8 years and police officer for over 8. Avid firearms enthusiast and outdoorsman.

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Everything you need to know about 80% Lower Receivers

To put it in simple words, 80% lower receivers, mostly for AR-15s, are receivers that haven’t been developed to the stage where it would be considered as a firearm. You see, AR-15s have two main parts, which are generally the upper and the lower receivers.

The lower, which is the receiver of the gun houses the components like the trigger group, magazine well, and in short the core firing mechanism. This is why the Receiver is the part of the gun that is actually regulated.

So, the Idea behind an 80% receiver is that anyone can buy them, and build them into a rifle that is unregulated, thus gaining the ultimate freedom to bear arms.

However, all this does seem a little shady, and there are probably many questions on your mind, regarding the legality and practicality of these items, so, in this post, we are going to try and answer any questions that you may have about 80% lower.

80% Lower Receivers

Why are 80% Lower Receivers not considered a firearm?

Well, if we were to look at how the Gun Control Act of 1968 defines a firearm, it states that any weapon that is designed to, or maybe readily converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive is called a firearm.

Therefore, the receivers of a gun, which can be readily converted to a state where they can fire a projectile are also classified as Firearms. So, in normal circumstances, if you go out to buy an AR-15 receiver, the process will be the same as buying the entire gun. You will have to do a background check, and fill out an ATF firearms transaction form. The receiver will also be serialized.

However, when it comes to an 80% lower, you can’t simply convert it into a firearm by putting on some parts. An 80% receiver isn’t milled to have a place for a fire control group, and can’t be readily converted into a firearm, therefore, it is not considered one by law. To turn an 80% receiver into a gun, you will need a milling station, where you can create the required space for the fire control group, and drill out the holes for the selector and pins.

The term 80 lowers, or 80% lowers is not a term recognized by the ATF, it is more of a slang term for these “Paperweights” that look like an AR-15 receiver.

This is probably the main question that is on everyone’s mind, Are these so-called “paperweights” legal. Well, in simple words, yes! Yes, 80% law is legal in most states of the US, however, some states have restricted or in some cases outright banned the sale of 80% lowers and “Ghost guns”. These states include California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Washington.

However, in other parts of the US, you can buy 80% lower than anything else in the US. they are not considered a firearm, and hence are not regulated as one. Anyone can buy an 80% lower discount without a background check or filling out any paperwork.

However, even if it is legal to buy an 80% lower in your state, make sure that you purchase one from a reputable company, which has a determination letter from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE).

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Can you legally make a “Ghost gun” from 80% Lower Receivers?

Now that we know that you can legally own an 80% gun in most states of the US, the question is, can you legally turn it into a firearm? Well, contrary to popular belief, Yes you can, and you don’t necessarily need a Federal Firearms License (FFL) to build a gun at home.

It’s simple: If you can legally own a firearm in your state, county, or city, you can also manufacture a firearm at home for personal use. This means that there are two conditions you have to follow when you make a “Ghost gun” at home, firstly, you should not be convicted of a violent crime, and should be old enough to legally own a firearm, and secondly, you can not legally sell the firearm to anyone else.

Moreover, the “Ghost Gun” you make should comply with the gun laws of your state, so for the most part, it should not have a short barrel and it shouldn’t be a machine gun.

What about the serial numbers?

In almost all states where you can legally make a gun at home, you aren’t required to serialize it either. You should check your specific state laws just to be sure, but what is the purpose of making a “Ghost gun” at home if you have to register and serialize it.

How hard is it to make a firearm from an 80% Lower Receiver?

In theory, making a functioning receiver from and 80% lower is quite simple, however, the level of difficulty you will face depends a lot upon your skill levels. In the specific case of AR-15 80% lower, you won’t have the cavity where the fire control group goes. So, you will have to mill it out. Additionally, you will also have to drill out the holes for the hammer, selector, and trigger pin.

You will preferably need a drill press, or perhaps a power drill to machine out the receiver. For anyone who has experience with power tools, some patience, and a little bit of mechanical inclination, turning an 80% lower into a functioning receiver would take two or three hours. After that, you’ll need a few minutes to install the fire control group, buffer tube, and upper to have a fully functioning AR-15. 

Final thoughts:

Many firearm activists in the US believe that the increasing gun control laws in the US are infringing their rights and freedom under the second amendment. They believe that the government might try to take away their guns, which is why “ghost guns”, which any one can make at home with an 80% receiver, are becoming more popular.

We hope that this post answers all the questions you had about 80% lower.

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Texas House Bill 1069

Range Qualification for the Texas License to Carry

This last legislative assembly (2021) came with a whole slew of firearm law changes. Everything from definitions of first responders to removal of silencers from the prohibited weapons list. Included in that legislation is a part allowing First Responders to certify to carry handguns while on duty. So in this article I’m going cover what a First Responder is and what the Texas On-Duty First Responder Training Course requirements are at this time as mentioned in Texas House Bill 1069. And just a heads up, JTF Consulting will be offering this course in the future once DPS has approved the course curriculum sometime after January 1st, 2022.

So what does Texas define as a First Responder? You’ll find that in the Penal Code section, specifically Chapter 46, weapons.

PENAL CODE
TITLE 10. OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY, AND MORALS
CHAPTER 46. WEAPONS

In that chapter, the penal code defines First Responders as:

"First responder" means a public safety employee whose duties include responding rapidly to an emergency.  The term includes fire protection personnel as defined by Section 419.021, Government Code, and emergency medical services personnel as defined by Section 773.003, Health and Safety Code.  The term does not include:
(A)  volunteer emergency services personnel;
(B)  an emergency medical services volunteer, as defined by Section 773.003, Health and Safety Code; or
(C)  a peace officer or reserve law enforcement officer, as those terms are defined by Section 1701.001, Occupations Code, who is performing law enforcement duties.

This means that fire and EMS personnel must be paid, full time employees of the profession and cannot be volunteers. They must also have a current, valid Texas License to Carry prior to taking the course. It also means that Law Enforcement, both full time and reserve are not bound by these requirements.

So what does the training involve?

So you’re a fulltime EMT or Firefighter and you already have your Texas License to Carry and you want to be able to carry your handgun while on duty, what do you do next? Texas House Bill 1069 outlines what is required in the course and gives us a good idea of what to expect in the class.

Sec.411.184. TRAINING COURSE FOR CERTAIN FIRST RESPONDERS.


(a)In this section, “first responder” has the meaning assigned by
Section 46.01, Penal Code.
(b)The director by rule shall establish minimum standards
for an initial training course that a first responder who is a
license holder and who is employed or supervised by a county or
municipality to which Chapter 179, Local Government Code, applies
may complete to receive a certification of completion from the
department under this section. The training course must:
(1)be administered by a qualified handgun instructor;
(2)include not more than 40 hours of instruction;
(3)provide classroom training in:
(A)self-defense;
(B)de-escalation techniques;
(C)tactical thinking relating to cover for and
concealment of the license holder;
(D)methods to conceal a handgun and methods to
ensure the secure carrying of a concealed handgun;
(E)the use of restraint holsters and methods to
ensure the secure carrying of an openly carried handgun; and
(F)consequences of improper use of a handgun;
(4)provide field instruction in the use of handguns,
including:
(A)instinctive or reactive shooting;
(B)tactical shooting;
(C)shooting while moving; and
(D)shooting in low light conditions;
(5)require physical demonstrations of proficiency in
techniques learned in training; and
(6)provide procedures for securing and storing a
handgun if the first responder, while on duty, is required to enter
a location where carrying the handgun is prohibited by federal law
or otherwise.
(c)The department by rule shall establish minimum
standards for an annual continuing education course that is
administered by a qualified handgun instructor and includes not
more than 10 hours of instruction for a person who has completed the
initial training course described by Subsection (b).
(d)The department shall issue a certificate of completion
to a first responder who is a license holder and who completes the
initial training course under Subsection (b) or the continuing
education course under Subsection (c), as applicable. A
certificate of completion expires on the first anniversary of
issuance.
(e)The first responder is responsible for paying to the
course provider the costs of a training course under this section.

So from this outline we can gather a few things, lets break them down.

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Instructors

From the Texas definition of a qualified handgun instructor, the course will generally be offered through 4 instructors.

  1. LTC Instructors, unsurprisingly Texas approved these as qualified instructors
  2. TCOLE Firearms Instructors, usually certified through an agency and on a state level.
  3. Level 3 Private Security Firearms Instructor, same as the TCOLE but for private security companies and officers.
  4. NRA Certified Handgun Instructors are also approved to teach the course.

Course Length

So the bill states that the course can be no longer than 40 hours, but doesn’t give a minimum. Does that mean there will be a 4 hour class? I highly doubt it, I see most classes being 8 to 16 hours in length, with ‘advanced’ classes being 16+ hours. What’s good is that a good portion of the class looks to be hands on, which is more effective than just classroom time or online.

Classroom Training

So the classroom training will cover a lot of the same topics as the standard Texas License To Carry such as liability, de-escalation techniques, and legal considerations. What I’m excited to see is the introduction of a tactical mindset, concealment methods and introduction of “restraint” holsters, which I’m assuming means something like a level 2 holster.

Live Range Training

They list some interesting things here for the hands on portion. Instinctive or reaction shooting, tactical shooting, shooting while moving, and low light shooting. Really they could have just left it at tactical shooting since I feel like that covers a lot of those anyway. I’m really happy to see the incorporation of low light and shooting under movement, I feel like these are often over looked and should be covered in LTC. Of course finally, the shooting qualification and proficiency demonstration of the skills learned in the course.

Follow Up

Texas House Bill 1069 also set guidelines for annual qualification requirements for the first responder certification to be taught by a qualified handgun instructor. The recertification class can not be longer than 10 hours and includes a live fire qualification, but does not specify what all is to be included in in those possible 10 hours. I would imagine it would include a legislative update on any laws applicable to LTC holders or any changes made to the requirements.

The Cost

Sad to say I don’t see these certification courses being very cheap. If they run 8 hours you can assume that they will cost about $125+ per person and the price only goes up from there the longer the classes get. HB 1069 also states that the cost is up to the individual first responder and not his or her agency, so the cost is completely up to the license holder.

Considerations

It also states in HB1069 that agencies can also enact policies for their employees to carry with the certification, but that they can not implement policies prohibiting the carry of handgun on duty. Great right? Not so much. Agencies may not allow license holders to carry without having a policy in place, and are not duty bound to enact a policy. So basically they can’t outright say you can’t do it, but if they don’t make a policy, you still can’t do it. Isn’t government great kids? There are more things to take into account and are required, but we won’t have a clear picture of what that is until DPS puts out the course and associated info on it. So until then make sure your employers get policies put in place and stay strapped my friends, and feel free to check out our other courses in the meantime!

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Texas On-Duty First Responder Training Course

This last legislative assembly (2021) came with a whole slew of firearm law changes. Everything from definitions of first responders to removal of silencers from the prohibited weapons list. Included in that legislation is a part allowing First Responders to certify to carry handguns while on duty. So in this article I’m going cover what a First Responder is and what the Texas On-Duty First Responder Training Course requirements are at this time. And just a heads up, JTF Consulting will be offering this course in the future once DPS has approved the course curriculum sometime after January 1st, 2022.

So what does Texas define as a First Responder? You’ll find that in the Penal Code section, specifically Chapter 46, weapons.

PENAL CODE
TITLE 10. OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY, AND MORALS
CHAPTER 46. WEAPONS

In that chapter, the penal code defines First Responders as:

"First responder" means a public safety employee whose duties include responding rapidly to an emergency.  The term includes fire protection personnel as defined by Section 419.021, Government Code, and emergency medical services personnel as defined by Section 773.003, Health and Safety Code.  The term does not include:
(A)  volunteer emergency services personnel;
(B)  an emergency medical services volunteer, as defined by Section 773.003, Health and Safety Code; or
(C)  a peace officer or reserve law enforcement officer, as those terms are defined by Section 1701.001, Occupations Code, who is performing law enforcement duties.

This means that fire and EMS personnel must be paid, full time employees of the profession and cannot be volunteers. They must also have a current, valid Texas License to Carry prior to taking the course. It also means that Law Enforcement, both full time and reserve are not bound by these requirements.

So what does the training involve?

So you’re a fulltime EMT or Firefighter and you already have your Texas License to Carry and you want to be able to carry your handgun while on duty, what do you do next? Texas House Bill 1069 outlines what is required in the course and gives us a good idea of what to expect in the class.

Sec.411.184. TRAINING COURSE FOR CERTAIN FIRST RESPONDERS.


(a)In this section, “first responder” has the meaning assigned by
Section 46.01, Penal Code.
(b)The director by rule shall establish minimum standards
for an initial training course that a first responder who is a
license holder and who is employed or supervised by a county or
municipality to which Chapter 179, Local Government Code, applies
may complete to receive a certification of completion from the
department under this section. The training course must:
(1)be administered by a qualified handgun instructor;
(2)include not more than 40 hours of instruction;
(3)provide classroom training in:
(A)self-defense;
(B)de-escalation techniques;
(C)tactical thinking relating to cover for and
concealment of the license holder;
(D)methods to conceal a handgun and methods to
ensure the secure carrying of a concealed handgun;
(E)the use of restraint holsters and methods to
ensure the secure carrying of an openly carried handgun; and
(F)consequences of improper use of a handgun;
(4)provide field instruction in the use of handguns,
including:
(A)instinctive or reactive shooting;
(B)tactical shooting;
(C)shooting while moving; and
(D)shooting in low light conditions;
(5)require physical demonstrations of proficiency in
techniques learned in training; and
(6)provide procedures for securing and storing a
handgun if the first responder, while on duty, is required to enter
a location where carrying the handgun is prohibited by federal law
or otherwise.
(c)The department by rule shall establish minimum
standards for an annual continuing education course that is
administered by a qualified handgun instructor and includes not
more than 10 hours of instruction for a person who has completed the
initial training course described by Subsection (b).
(d)The department shall issue a certificate of completion
to a first responder who is a license holder and who completes the
initial training course under Subsection (b) or the continuing
education course under Subsection (c), as applicable. A
certificate of completion expires on the first anniversary of
issuance.
(e)The first responder is responsible for paying to the
course provider the costs of a training course under this section.

So from this outline we can gather a few things, lets break them down.

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Instructors

From the Texas definition of a qualified handgun instructor, the course will generally be offered through 4 instructors.

  1. LTC Instructors, unsurprisingly Texas approved these as qualified instructors
  2. TCOLE Firearms Instructors, usually certified through an agency and on a state level.
  3. Level 3 Private Security Firearms Instructor, same as the TCOLE but for private security companies and officers.
  4. NRA Certified Handgun Instructors are also approved to teach the course.

Course Length

So the bill states that the course can be no longer than 40 hours, but doesn’t give a minimum. Does that mean there will be a 4 hour class? I highly doubt it, I see most classes being 8 to 16 hours in length, with ‘advanced’ classes being 16+ hours. What’s good is that a good portion of the class looks to be hands on, which is more effective than just classroom time or online.

Classroom Training

So the classroom training will cover a lot of the same topics as the standard Texas License To Carry such as liability, de-escalation techniques, and legal considerations. What I’m excited to see is the introduction of a tactical mindset, concealment methods and introduction of “restraint” holsters, which I’m assuming means something like a level 2 holster.

Live Range Training

They list some interesting things here for the hands on portion. Instinctive or reaction shooting, tactical shooting, shooting while moving, and low light shooting. Really they could have just left it at tactical shooting since I feel like that covers a lot of those anyway. I’m really happy to see the incorporation of low light and shooting under movement, I feel like these are often over looked and should be covered in LTC. Of course finally, the shooting qualification and proficiency demonstration of the skills learned in the course.

Follow Up

Texas House Bill 1069 also set guidelines for annual qualification requirements for the first responder certification to be taught by a qualified handgun instructor. The recertification class can not be longer than 10 hours and includes a live fire qualification, but does not specify what all is to be included in in those possible 10 hours. I would imagine it would include a legislative update on any laws applicable to LTC holders or any changes made to the requirements.

The Cost

Sad to say I don’t see these certification courses being very cheap. If they run 8 hours you can assume that they will cost about $125+ per person and the price only goes up from there the longer the classes get. HB 1069 also states that the cost is up to the individual first responder and not his or her agency, so the cost is completely up to the license holder.

Considerations

It also states in HB1069 that agencies can also enact policies for their employees to carry with the certification, but that they can not implement policies prohibiting the carry of handgun on duty. Great right? Not so much. Agencies may not allow license holders to carry without having a policy in place, and are not duty bound to enact a policy. So basically they can’t outright say you can’t do it, but if they don’t make a policy, you still can’t do it. Isn’t government great kids? There are more things to take into account and are required, but we won’t have a clear picture of what that is until DPS puts out the course and associated info on it. So until then make sure your employers get policies put in place and stay strapped my friends, and feel free to check out our other courses in the meantime!