Tom Marx shares decades of experience at NRA Convention in Houston

Law Enforcement firearm and training consultant Tom Marx Houston, Texas - He started in Chicago. He left the Chicago PD in the late 80s to become one of three special chosen instructors for the Smith & Wesson Academy. From there he's been lecturing and consulting on all matters of firearms for everyone from BLACKHAWK, ILEETA and the National Rifle Association.

The man is Tom Marx. If you've attended an NRA Annual Meeting lately, then you should know the name. After all, his Methods of Conceal Carry seminars have been packing them in for the better part of a decade.

"He packs them in," NRA Law Enforcement Director Glen Hoyer told us. "People are lined up against the wall."

Pretty impressive when you consider the challenge of keeping an audience's attention for up to six hours. That's right, Marx's seminar has been known to go on for six hours.

More on Marx's Methods of Conceal Carry seminar at the NRA Annual Meeting ...

NRA's John Howard training at Gunsite Academy Paulden, Arizona - Staff from NRA’s Training Department headed West last month to participate in cross-training with Gunsite. John Howard (pictured), Andy Lander, and Sean Thornton made the trip to the Gunsite Academy in Paulden, Arizona where they conducted NRA Certified Instructor Courses for Pistol, Rifle, and Shotgun for nine Gunsite Instructors. In exchange, the three attended the Gunsite Defensive Pistol 250 course.

It all started when NRA Board of Director and Gunsite owner Buz Mills discussed cross-training opportunities with Bill Poole, Director of NRA’s Education & Training Division.

“We knew that this would be a fantastic opportunity for Gunsite and NRA to come together and examine the evolution of firearms training – from where it’s been, to where it is now and how we can look to the future,” said Poole.


Developing more female NRA Certified Instructors has been a major goal of the Women's Programs Department these last few years. Many women want to learn to shoot and are looking for another woman to show them the ropes - that's where NRA's cadre of female instructors comes into play. Arizona's Amber Kunau recently joined that group, earning her certification as an NRA Certified Instructor. Amber shared her experience with NRAblog and explained what led her to get her certification and how she's using it to train others.

NRA Certified Instructor Amber Kunau Becoming an NRA Certified Instructor was something I had thought about frequently so when I saw classes listed at my local range (Rio Salado Sportsman’s Club) it seemed like the perfect time to jump in and get to work. I started with the Range Safety Officer (RSO) class done by Jim Neff of Generations Firearms in Mesa, Arizona. The RSO class taught by Jim was interactive, informative and fun. After the great experience I had in the RSO class, I knew that getting my instructor certification with Jim was going to be nothing less than a great experience and the knowledge I would take away would be invaluable to me as a firearms instructor. In fact, I enjoyed that class so much I signed up for several more and went on to get my instructor level training in Pistol, Personal Protection Inside The Home, and Personal Protection Outside The Home and still have upcoming instructor classes in my calendar for Rifle and Shotgun.

The biggest thing that I took away from these classes is that students learn by doing. A great instructor doesn’t just stand in front of the class and just talk. Instead, a great instructor gets the class involved in mock “real life” scenarios and great discussions which gets everyone thinking on their own and working hard for their certification. I also learned that a good attitude is an absolute necessity.


NRA Concealed Carry Hooded Sweatshirt from the NRAstore With everyone heading out to SHOT Show next week, we thought we'd bring you the usual "Membership Monday" post a bit earlier. So here's a look at another great option for those who carry concealed from our friends at the NRAstore™.

We want concealed carry to fit around your lifestyle – not the other way around. That’s why we developed the NRAstore™ exclusive Concealed Carry Hooded Sweatshirt. It’s the only garment of its kind we know of! Made from a pre-shrunk, heavyweight 50% cotton / 50% polyester blend, we’ve taken a standard 9 oz. fleece sweatshirt design and added a full-body polyester lining for added warmth, durability, wind resistance and weight distribution. Inside the sweatshirt you’ll find left and right concealment pockets. The included Velcro®-backed holster and double mag pouch can be repositioned inside the pockets for optimum draw. Ideal for carrying your favorite compact to mid-size pistol, the NRA Concealed Carry Hooded Sweatshirt gives you an extra tactical edge, because its unstructured, casual design appears incapable of concealing a heavy firearm – but it does so with ease! Includes drawstring hood, cotton/spandex ribbed cuffs and waistband, two front pouch pockets and a discreet black zipper. Includes one Velcro® holster and one Velcro® mag pouch. Colors: Black, Navy. Made in USA.

The Concealed Carry Hooded Sweatshirt is available at the NRAstore™ for $59.95. For more information visit or call 1-888-607-6007. Be sure to request a free copy of our new Winter Catalog!

It's Monday, and you know what that means. Yes, it means going back to work, but it also means that we're featuring another great product from the NRAstore™. This week we're taking a look at a collection of wallets that make it easy to keep your driver's license, credit cards, and your Concealed Carry Weapon permit easily accessible. Plus, it's made of bison leather, making it sturdy and stylish. Here's all the details on the 3-in-1 CCW Bison Billfolds:

3-in-1 CCW Bison Billfolds from the NRAstore Bison leather, a uniquely American material, is extremely tough -- and it wears like iron. Plus, it tans and buffs to a lustrous shade and texture that’s perfectly suited for wallets. Our new collection features men’s Bi-Fold and Tri-Fold models with 3-in-1 capability: each includes a special, interior windowed mini-wallet that’s ideal for storing a CCW permit or driver’s license and one or two credit cards. Since it nests seamlessly with the main wallet, you have the option to use them together or separately according to your needs.

Main Bi-Fold features four card slots, an all-purpose pocket and a divided section for bills. Main Tri-Fold features six card slots, a windowed ID compartment and a divided section for bills. Decorated with debossed NRA block letters and/or a distinctive round NRA medallion that’s permanently sewn in with a contrasting single needle stitch. All are lined with an exclusive, dark brown brocade fabric with a discreet, repetitive NRA eagle motif.

The 3-in-1 CCW Bison Billfolds are available at the NRAstore™ for $29.95. For more information visit or call 1-888-607-6007. Be sure to request a free copy of our new Holiday Catalog!

NRA President Ron Schmeits and Executive VP Wayne LaPierre cutting the ribbon to open the annual meeting in Pittsburgh Day one at the National Rifle Association's 140th Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was one to remember. Personally, I had a hard time finding the time to take focus on any one event. But here's what I've come up with for the top moments from day number one.

  1. NRA President officially opened the Exhibition floor by cutting the ceremonial ribbon along with Wayne LaPierre.

  2. The NRA Country Jam at the Stage AE Amphitheatre with Craig Morgan ...don't forget the fantastic opening offerings by Sarah Darling and Due West.

  3. Refuse To Be A Victim Seminars held in Room 407. Best way to make sure you and your's are as safe as you can be.

  4. The Celebration of American Values Leadership Forum. Newt Gingrich, Lt. Col. Oliver North, Senator Pat Toomey ... as if there could be a better way to spend your afternoon.

  5. Female Pistol Instructor Course. Making sure that there are more women out there teaching even more women the proper way handle a pistol.

  6. The #39 Bass Pro Shop NASCAR Car. Johnny Morris, owner of Bass Pro, is racing #39 at the fabled Daytona 500 as the NRA car ... and he brought it to Pittsburgh for all to see.

  7. Glock. Not only does Glock have their top team shooters (Randi Rogers, Dave Seving and Tori Nonanka) on site, but if you were patient, and could muster a smile, you could also have walked away with a picture and autograph from R. Lee Ermery ... the Gunny.

  8. Brian Zins and Chris Reed in the finals of Top Shot Season 2 on NRAblog
  9. Top Shot. The History Channel's Top Shot has been recording incredible numbers through season number 2. If you were paying attention, you might have caught a glimpse of George, Ashely and Chris Reed (winner of season #2) on the exhibit floor.

  10. Conceal Carry Seminar. Taught by retired Chicago Cop Tom Marx, this seminar (also taking place today at 2) this conference told you everything you needed to know if your interest rests in ability to carry a firearm almost any where you wanted to go.

  11. Steel for a Steal Raffle. Starting at 10 on Friday and running throughout the weekend, $20 bought you the chance to win one of 75 different firearms. The beauty of this raffle is that once they sell 100 tickets they draw a winner. And if you don't win, your ticket goes back into the pot for the next round. Sooner or later, you might just walk away with a heck of souvenir.


Last month, we told you that NRA's Training Department had put out a "call to arms" for Iowans in hopes of creating more NRA Certified Pistol Instructors within the state. The Training Department had scheduled one Instructor course at Brownell's in Montezuma, Iowa, which is now full. To develop new NRA Certified Pistol Instructors in other areas of the state, the Training staff has arranged for two additional courses.

NRA Certified Instructor Logo

The first will be held in Humbolt, Iowa on April 2-3, with pre-course qualification on April 1. The second wil be in Farragut, Iowa on April 9-10, with pre-course qualification on April 8. Each course is limited to 30 people and qualified candidates must must possess and demonstrate a solid background in firearm safety and shooting skills acquired through previous firearm training and/or previous shooting experience. Instructor candidates must also be very familiar with both semi-automatic pistols and revolvers and be current NRA members residing in Iowa.  

To register for either course, visit, click on "Find a Course" and select the option for the NRA Instructor Pistol Shooting Course. To locate these courses, search by zip code or by selecting Iowa as state. Select either the Farragut or Humbolt location and register online. Once registered, the Training Department will send out the pre-course questionaire and further details.

For more information, please contact Steve Hoback with the Training Department at or 703-267-1496.

Thanks to John Howard, NRA's National Instructor Trainer, for passing along this information aimed at Iowans:  

NRA Training on NRAblog

As you know, Iowa recently became a "Shall Issue" state with SF 2379 became effective on January 1, 2011. One of the training requirements that may be used to fulfill the concealed carry permit's training requirement is "completion of any National Rifle Association (NRA) handgun safety training course.”

As you can imagine, this has created a great deal of interest from individuals in Iowa seeking to get certified by the NRA as Pistol Instructors. Currently, the entire state of Iowa only has 315 NRA Certified Pistol Instructors, and only 145 of those indicate that they will accept referrals for prospective students. The majority of these instructors are centrally located within the state.

NRA’s Training Department would like to come to Iowa and develop additional NRA Certified Pistol Instructors. Our first course will be conducted at Brownell’s in Montezuma the last weekend in March and is nearly full. We would like to create instructors in each corner of the state and do this as a member benefit. If you are in one of these areas and are willing to host the NRA Training Department to conduct a course, we would like to hear from you. The requirements are a classroom that can accommodate approximately 22 individuals and a facility/range for live fire exercises. At least a dozen interested and experienced shooters are needed to conduct a course. Candidates for a Pistol Instructor course must possess and demonstrate a solid background in firearm safety and shooting skills acquired through previous firearm training and/or previous shooting experience. Instructor candidates must be very familiar with both semi-automatic pistols and revolvers.

Our goal is to complete this training by the end of April, 2011. Again, if you have a facility/range and would like to host a course, please contact us at or

Personal Protection Outside the Home DVD Father's Day is only a week away, and we've got the perfect gift for the pistol-owning Dad in your life: NRA’s Personal Protection Outside the Home DVD.

Created by NRA's Training Department and MetaMedia, this educational DVD covers methods of concealed carry for both men and women.

If you know a father who has a concealed carry permit or is thinking about getting one, this is the gift to get! In the video, two characters explain their reason for carrying a concealed pistol, and show viewers related safety and training techniques.

Order a copy of the Personal Protection Oustide the Home DVD now by visiting our Program Materials Center or calling 1-800-336-7402 and asking for item number ES30017.

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