AZ CCW Class Review – Charles Heller, Tucson, AZ

If you do not already have a Arizona Concealed Carry Permit to carry Weapons then Charles Heller’s course is worth attending to get your permit. However if you already have your CCW you might consider attending Charles class as a refresher, I have taken a half dozen CCW classes so far and I still learned new things in this class

For those who are interested in a professional CCW class in Tucson, or Southern Arizona, Charles Heller offers an interesting and complete course. He is a radio talk show host so as you might expect, he is easy to hear, and understand. Charles knows his subject matter and course outline, so his class is interesting and well paced. He is not slow or too fast and he leaves room in his schedule for questions. He uses notes as a guide but knows his subject back and forth and is able to keep the class moving without any distracting pauses or extended breaks (non-smoker).

Charles offers to instruct at your location, or at his home. He’s easy to find on the East side of Tucson, just off Kolb road. Parking was not a problem for our class of 10 or so students. His living room is well lit and more comfortable than most classrooms. The students shot their qualifications and were fingerprinted at a local range

From Charles’ website:

The purpose of the CCW class is to allow you a means of living your life in a more safe and confident manner. It provides the training that most people will newer get, mostly about the use of force in self defense.

CCW permit training classes are held usually the last weekend of the month. Normally, I Start Friday night, then finish Saturday, and at the range.

The class covers use of force in self defense, safety with the defense tool, (known in my class as a rescue device) carry methods, firearm selection, draw, dealing with law enforcement after the use of force, situational awareness, preparedness, range etiquette, and gun cleaning. It is everything the novice needs to go from basic knowledge to a safe street carry of a concealed defense tool, if they do their part.

At the end of the class there is a written and a shooting test. You do not need to own or bring a firearm to the class to participate. At the range it is a good idea to use your own rescue tool for qualification, but I have some you can borrow at no charge if you wish. I only ask that you pay for whatever ammo you use.

Permit usually takes a week to two weeks to arrive from the state, and costs $65 from them.

Price for my class is $80, plus the range fees. Police departments usually charge about $5 for your fingerprints, also required.

Charles is a radio show host. Talking professionally lets Charles communicate efficiently and effectively. He’s comfortable with his subject and his tools. There was little time wasted in his class looking for props, or references. While the class was full of information and used the full amount of time we were there, it didn’t get boring or too fast to keep up

Charles uses a few visual aids and real life stories to help explain concepts such as bullet type, security and to help illustrate some of the fundamentals such as how a bullet works.

Students used training guns (non working replicas used for training) to get used to the sights before heading to the shooting range.

The class I sat in with was two guys and five girls, and two more girls from a prior class sat in for a few hours as well. I feel I should comment on the fact that while Charles did alter the course in a minor way to mention a few more options in holsters for the ladies (which he did have examples of) he didn’t run the class any differently than he would have with an all male class.

On the second day the class lecture finished and we adjourned to the shooting range. to do the shooting qualification, fingerprints and some final instruction with the firearm. The range is just a few minutes away

Charles runs a flexible class, a couple of students from a prior class sat in to complete a few hours of lecture they had missed then met us at the range to do their shooting qualifications. They rented a Sig Mosquito (.22lr) and shot their qualification while our class filled out the fingerprint cards and had their prints done

Fingerprints were taken care of at the range. And took just a few minutes.

Classes held once a month
Custom classes available
$80 if you come to my class
$90 plus travel if I come to you
State charges $65 for permit
Renews every five years
Renewal class 4 hours, $40
No gun registration on permit

Knowing Charles for a few years, and knowing how active he is in the AzCDL a group that fights hard for CCW rights in Arizona, I expected his class to be good, and full of information on the legal aspects of AZ CCW. I was surprised to hear how interesting he was able to make the subject matter. Using real life experiences and a few current news items, Charles skillfully covered the required curriculum and items on the written test and went beyond the minimum requirements to ensure his students had a comfortable knowledge of the responsibility they will be taking on as a concealed weapon carrier

Some points Charles covers which I haven’t heard from other CCW courses I’ve attended include taking copious notes, then making a photocopy for your records, but sending the original set of notes to yourself via certified letter and not opening them, for later use in court should you ever need to defend your right to use force.

Charles also suggested setting up a ‘phone tree’ to use if you are ever taken into custody. On this subject Charles also offered some interesting advice on how to deal with your phone call, keeping an officer in the room with you and what points to be sure to include in that phone call

If you do not already have a Arizona Concealed Carry Permit to carry Weapons then Charles Heller’s course is worth attending to get your permit. However if you already have your CCW you might consider attending Charles class as a refresher, I have taken a half dozen CCW classes so far and I still learned new things in this class

Charles Heller can be reached his Liberty Watch website or 520-419-2500 (message)


Charles is the current Secretary and one of the founding members of the AzCDL – Arizona Citizens Defense League

AzCDL was founded by a group of local activists who recognized that a sustained, coordinated, statewide effort was critical to protecting and expanding the rights of law-abiding gun owners. As a like-minded coalition of activists, the AzCDL founders were instrumental in the successful passage of the first major improvement to Arizona’s CCW (concealed carry) laws since they were instituted in 1994.

AzCDL believes that the emphasis of gun laws should be on criminal misuse and that law-abiding citizens should be able to own and carry firearms unaffected by unnecessary laws or regulations. Towards that end, we are pursuing the following legislative improvements:

“Constitutional Carry” – The right of law-abiding citizens to carry a firearm openly or concealed.
Restoration of “Affirmative Defense” – The right of presumed innocence in a self-defense situation.
Stronger State Preemption – Firearms laws should be consistent throughout the State.
Fewer restrictions on the lawful carrying of firearms on Public property (buildings, parks, etc.).
Explicit 3rd Party Storage Requirements when entering a posted “No Guns” facility.
Liability responsibility for property owners who ban firearms.
Universal Recognition of CCW (concealed weapons) permits issued by other States.
Improvements to CCW laws.
“Restaurant Carry” – The ability of law-abiding citizens to dine out while carrying a firearm.