Shooting-Safe NRA F.I.R.S.T. Steps Training

You don't need to own a gun to take this course.  The NRA First Steps course is a safe and easy way, starting from the basics, to find out if you'll enjoy target shooting, before you go out and buy a gun or learn more about the one you may already have.  After this 4 hour course you'll be a better and safer gun owner and most likely, your marksmanship will improve too.

F.I.R.S.T. stands for “Firearm Instruction, Responsibility, and Safety Training”, a program the NRA developed to meet the needs for a basic firearms orientation program for new gun purchasers. This FIRST Steps program is a basic orientation course designed to provide a hands-on introduction to the safe handling and proper orientation of one specific firearm model, in this case the pistol or revolver.

An Illinois FOID Card is required for all courses.  FOID Application forms are available at any gun store or online from the Illinois State Police.

Who should take the First Steps Course?

  • If you have never fired a gun, specifically a handgun
  • If you don't own a gun yet but want to see what it's all about
  • If you are even considering having a gun in your home
  • If you haven't fired a gun in a few years
  • If you're not sure if you'll enjoy target shooting
  • If you inherited a firearm and aren't sure what to do with it or if it's safe to use
  • If you're thinking of buying a gun and want to learn a little more before choosing one
  • If you want to see for yourself what firearm use is all about, in the safest possible way
  • If you want to learn about firearms, but would rather not have a family member or friend teaching you

The F.I.R.S.T. Steps course includes:

  • Learn about revolvers and semi-automatic pistols; safe handling, cleaning and basic maintenance
  • If you don't have a firearm and aren't sure of what to buy, come anyway and we'll help you think through what you might want and let you handle several types before going to a gun store
  • Practice with our SIRT Laser Training system
  • When you want to buy, we'll go with you if you'd like
  • Gun rentals are available for the course at the range or free from Shooting Safe
  • We'll cover safe handling, cleaning, basic maintenance and storage options for homes with or without children
  • You'll be able to load, unload and safely handle and shoot any type of handgun
  • You will master the four basic firearm safety rules
  • You'll understand the basic Illinois laws regarding firearm storage, transportation
  • Requirement: Valid Illinois FOID* card                                                                                                                                         *FOID Card is required by Illinois law to own or handle a gun or ammunition
Students with physical limitations and disabilities are welcome, please contact us for any special needs or accessibility concerns you may have at

Note: This course will qualify for 8 hours toward the required 16 hours of required training for an Illinois Concealed Carry permit.


NRA First Steps - 8 Hour Total Course - 2 3 hour classroom sessions, 1-2 hours on the range - $75 per person

(Plus range fees, eye and hearing protection rental - if you don't have your own - and 1 box of factory ammunition for the gun you train with.)

Not sure which course is right for you?

Give us a call or e-mail us at with your questions and we'll help you decide which course is right for your needs.