by Paxton Delany - Friday, June 24, 2016
The NRA was founded on the principles of education and training in the safe and proper use of firearms. 145 years later, we continue to be the world-leader in firearms education and training with a network of over 125,000 Certified Instructors nationwide. This network is made up of men and women of all ages and backgrounds, but one commonality – they love to shoot, and love to teach others how to shoot too. NRA Certified Instructors are important because they are true ambassadors for the shooting sports and the Second Amendment. They understand the need for continued education and training in the shooting sports. To become an NRA Instructor, you must possess and demonstrate a solid background in firearm safety and shooting skills, must be intimately familiar with each action type in the discipline you wish to be certified in, and have completed all the pre-requisite courses and qualification exercises administered by an NRA appointed Training Counselor. Becoming an NRA Certified Instructor is no easy feat, but the benefits of becoming one are invaluable.
We want to thank all of our NRA Instructors for all that they do and continue to do, not just for the NRA, but for the shooting sports!!! With that being said, we want to highlight some of our most outstanding instructors, and let them tell their stories about why they continue to do what they do…
Up before the sun, powered by a protein shake and out the door with a large coffee by 5:30 AM, Chuck Lehnert has got his morning routine down like he does teaching NRA’s Basic Instructor Training course.
Standing at 5 feet 11 inches tall, Chuck looks almost exactly like Mr. Clean; clean cut, warm, welcoming with the underlying text that he is here to take care of business. The business of firearms instructing that is.
As a young boy Chuck did what all young boys in the farmlands of Pennsylvania do, he played, he roamed, he hunted and he got in trouble. Eventually he grew up and moved on from his boyhood escapades, after graduating from high school, he married his high school sweet heart, Luann, and moved to New Jersey to open and establish his business.
It was a while before Chuck’s childhood passion for firearms was reignited, “I realized I was interested in being able to protect myself, but most importantly my family,” Chuck remembers. Starting with the NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting Course, Chuck started picking up course certifications like they were ripe blackberries on the vines in the farmlands of Pennsylvania.
Becoming certified as an NRA Instructor he continued his thirst for knowledge, competing and achieving the rank of Rifle Master Marksman. He then was appointed an NRA Training Counselor and contributed to the syllabus of some NRA Training Programs. There is nothing firearms related that Chuck Lehnert doesn’t know about.
“There is a great demand for ordinary people to take control of their own personal protection and the protection of their loved ones,” Chuck remarks. He and his wife have been the top NRA membership recruiting team at Cabela’s NRA Day since its inception.
But Luann doesn’t just help out with recruiting, Chuck’s wife is also an NRA Firearms Instructor and one of the few ladies fully certified to teach NRA Muzzle loading Courses. “Teaching with my bride of 41 years has made the trainings that I’ve conducted so much better. Luann is so good with the details, making sure everyone is comfortable and we have everything we need to safely and effectively conduct quality training.”
The duo spends much of their free time when they aren’t at their day jobs, instructing and recruiting. “It’s my passion. I am proud to be an instructor, if I could, I would make a living doing it,” Chuck laughs. “I look forward to my retirement so I can devote more time to training.”