We have been seeing a surge with a lot of so called “firearms instructors” on video going viral on social media. There are numerous videos going around of these “instructors” firing rounds into the ceilings of indoor ranges, teaching “Hollywood” tactics and just generally unsafe conditions in these classes. With all that we are seeing on these videos, I think that it would be great to talk about vetting instructors.

In case anyone hasn’t read my bio yet, I’m a firearms instructor. As time goes on, I will be providing tactical training information for this site in the near future. I have a lot of respect for anyone who takes the time out of their hectic schedule and spends their hard earned money to attend a class to further their knowledge and proficiency. I think that it’s very important to do this, especially if we are carrying firearms out in the community because this will ultimately help to create safer conditions and that is what we are going for.

It would be highly recommended to ensure that the training we are getting is good training and is from a reputable instructor however, because if we are getting improper training it could get us killed in a real life situation where we need to defend our life or the life of another. It could also put us in harm’s way if we are in a live-fire setting with an “instructor” that does not know how to properly handle a firearm.

One way we can do this is to verify credentials of any instructor that we are planning on going to for training. Any reputable and valid instructor should be able to produce the credentials and certifications they have received by attending and passing instructor level courses. If they cannot produce any type of certification or credential, this would be a good indicator that the only training this “instructor” has comes from movies and x-box.

The other thing that we can do to vet our instructors is to do a simple Google or Yelp search. I am not saying that one single negative review should steer you away (let’s face it, everyone has their good days and their bad days), however if there is a pattern of negative comments or reviews this could also be a great indicator that we should continue our search for an instructor.

The last suggestion I have for this is to always make sure that you are in a safe environment. There is nothing wrong with walking out of a class if the circumstances are placing you or anyone else in a potential dangerous situation and losing a few bucks is definitely better than losing your life. Any instructor worth their weight will pay close attention to safety and should always be following the four cardinal firearms safety rules.

This article originally appeared on AmericanConcealed.com