About the Course

NRA’s Personal Protection Outside the Home is delivered in two units: Level I (Basic) and Level II (Advanced). These units may be taken back-to-back over two days or scheduled separately (days or even weeks apart) for your convenience. In them, you’ll learn:

  • Which safety principles still apply, and which change, when you carry a gun in public.
  • The proper mindset for avoiding or, if unavoidable, employing potentially deadly force.
  • The psychological and physiological changes that occur during and after an attack.
  • The legal, emotional, and social aftermath of a defensive shooting.
  • Legal aspects of concealed or open carry and use of deadly force in Arizona—all taught by a qualified attorney or other certified specialist.
  • Various modes of concealed carry and the pros and cons of each.
  • The draw stroke: presenting your handgun from concealment using a variety of positions, followed by safe re-holstering.
  • Defense from behind a barrier, engaging multiple targets, aimed vs. point shooting, hip shooting and firing with a single hand.
  • Firing on the move: forward, backward, and pivoting to face a threat.
  • Taking the rare “long shot” with a handgun and shooting in low-light conditions.

After range training, you’ll return to the classroom to complete and correct to 100% the NRA’s open-book written exam and a course evaluation form then receive your NRA Course Completion Certificate.


This course is open to anyone 21 years of age or older who is lawfully permitted to possess a handgun and can show mastery of the basic skills of gun handling, shooting a group, zeroing the firearm, and cleaning it after practice. Proof of this experience can be any of the following: certificate of completion (with any NRA-Certified Instructor) of the NRA Basic Pistol Course, NRA Personal Protection in the Home Course, NRA First Steps Course, NRA competitive shooting qualification card, Military DD 214 with pistol qualification, or (with prior arrangement) passing a Pre-Course Assessment with your lead instructor. Neither a concealed-carry permit nor NRA membership is required to take this course.

You Will Need to Bring

HandgunA handgun (semi-automatic pistol or, if a revolver, double-action is recommended) of any caliber, although common defensive calibers (9 mm or .38 Special minimum) are preferred. A strong-side belt holster designed specifically for your handgun (no cross-draw, shoulder, ankle, or small-of-the-back systems are allowed), durable gun belt (standard dress belts are usually inadequate) plus two spare magazines for a semi-auto (or two speed-loading devices for a revolver) with belt-mounted carriers or quick-access pockets are required, along with a practical covering garment suitable for the season. For safe and efficient presentation training, your holster must be properly “broken-in” prior to class. Please see the FAQ page of this site or contact us directly for more information. Since NO LIVE AMMUNITION IS ALLOWED IN THE CLASSROOM, we recommend you leave your handgun, ammo, and safety equipment securely in your vehicle until needed on the range. 100 rounds of factory ammunition is needed for Level I range training and 150 rounds for Level II, for a total of 250 rounds for the entire course, along with ear and eye protection (prescription lenses satisfy this latter requirement). Optional equipment includes knee pads and owner’s manual for your handgun. If desired, participants may bring a lunch for the 50-minute break between morning and afternoon sessions. Refrigeration may or may not be available for food storage, so an insulated lunch box or cooler is recommended.

We Will Provide

Your NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home Course Student Packet containing the NRA’s Guide to the Basics of Personal Protection Outside the Home, Gun Safety Rules and Basic Firearms Training Program brochures, course Student Examination and Course Completion Certificate for Level I and Level II training, a course schedule, registration card, targets and target markers, bench samples of handguns and a variety of demonstration concealed-carry holsters, along with dummy ammunition, range training aids (such as barriers to simulate cover and concealment and welder’s glasses to simulate low-light conditions), course evaluation form, pad and pen for taking notes and a highlighter for marking important passages in your handbook. Unless otherwise available at the facility, coffee, soft-drinks, and light snacks will be provided in the morning and bottled water will be available throughout the day. For participants who are not NRA members and wish to join, enrollment forms will be available.

Because this course is tailored to the use of your own self-defense firearm, CTWT normally does not offer rental handguns, ammo, or other personal range equipment. However, if your handgun becomes inoperable during training and a qualified gunsmith is not immediately available, a loaner handgun, ammo, and training equipment (holster, mag carrier, etc.) may be provided for a nominal fee.

Fee for Private Class: $450 per person

For Level I (Basic) and Level II (Advanced): $450 per person, per Level, 1 to 4 individuals per class. If participants register for both Level I and Level II concurrently (back-to-back on consecutive days): $800 per person for both days, (a savings of $100). A $40 surcharge will be added for each person requiring a CTWT-supplied replacement firearm, ammo, and other training gear.

Fee for Group Training: $225 per person

For Level I (Basic) and Level II (Advanced): $225 per person, per Level, 5 to 15 participants per class. If participants register for both Level I and Level II concurrently (back-to-back on consecutive days): $400 per person for both days (a savings of $50). A $40 surcharge will be added for each person requiring a CTWT-supplied replacement firearm, ammo, and other training gear.

Contact us to Schedule Your Training

NOTE: NRA’s Personal Protection Outside the Home is a complex course requiring all shooters to be very familiar with their handgun and able to execute defined movements safely on a tactical firing range. Naturally, a private class guarantees maximum instructor supervision during all phases of training and is recommended for participants less confident in their prerequisite skills. However, parties of experienced shooters sharing a common background often find the synergism and camaraderie of group training an excellent bonus.

Gift Certificates are available for NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home! Click here to learn more

This is an NRA-approved course.

Circle the Wagons Training provides both NRA-approved and unique specialty instruction courses.