Front Sight Firearms Training Institute

Front Sight Firearms Training Institute

Infobox Company
company_name = Front Sight Firearms Training Institute
company_
company_type = Private
slogan = Any Gun Will Do - If You Will Do!
foundation = Bakersfield, California, U.S. (1996)
founder = Ignatius Piazza
location = Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
industry = Firearms Training
homepage = [http://www.frontsight.com/ FrontSight.com]

Front Sight Firearms Training Institute, also known as Front Sight, is a privately owned and operated facility for training people how to safely operate firearms in both recreational and self-defense settings, also referred to as "comfort of skill at arms". It was founded in 1996 by Dr. Ignatius Piazza to train people in firearms handling and also to "positively change the image of gun ownership in our lifetimes".

Locations

Originally, Front Sight was located near Bakersfield, California. [ [http://web.archive.org/web/19970327002137/http://frontsight.com/ Web Archive Snapshot - Front Sight in Bakersfield] ] In 1998, a 550 acre property in Nye County, between Las Vegas, Nevada and Pahrump, Nevada, was purchased and the operation gradually moved there. This location, called "Front Sight Nevada", provides facilities for training in firearms as well as climbing, rappelling, and other forms of self-defense. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A0DE3DC163EF936A25756C0A96F958260/ A 'Sun City' for Gun Enthusiasts] New York Times Article retrieved April 5, 2008.]

The Bakersfield facility was closed in 2002.

Portions of the Front Sight Nevada property are still under development. As of April 2008, the facility includes a 6000 square foot classroom area, 12 shooting ranges, a rifle range, live fire simulators, underground training simulators, a SWAT tower, a pro shop, a gunsmithing facility and armory, a martial arts area, and a secluded VIP training space. [ [http://www.frontsight.com/pages/facility.asp Original plans for Pahrump facility expansion] Retrieved April 5, 2008.]

In early 2004, Front Sight also acquired an extensive property on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. The Alaska location, called "Front Sight Alaska", has focused on outdoorsmanship and includes training and activities such as big game hunting, fishing, kayaking, and bear safety. [ [http://www.frontsight.com/alaska/ Front Sight Alaska] ]

History

In the first class offered in April 1996, Front Sight trained ten students. Since then, it has grown substantially. As of April 2008, the corporate website says that the institute trains "tens of thousands of students per year" [ [http://www.frontsight.com/free-gun.asp Front Sight Promotion - >10,000 students.] Retrieved April 5, 2008.] . In addition, over 120,000 students have attended classes so far in the history of the Institute. [Front Sight members mass e-mail sent February 21, 2008, which stated "...and you know we have proven with 123,657 students over the last 12 years that Front Sight provides the best firearms training courses in the industry..."]

From 1998 to 2002, Front Sight periodically offered free sub-machine gun courses at the new Nevada facility to gain exposure for the quality of the training offered. [ [http://web.archive.org/web/19990209151139/www.frontsight.com/monthly.htm Front Sight monthly report] January 1998] [ [http://web.archive.org/web/20000614144948/www.frontsight.com/free_smg_course.htm Free Submachine Gun Course] June 2000] [ [http://web.archive.org/web/20020802031228/www.frontsight.com/1day_smg_course.htm Free Submachine Gun Course] August 2002]

Every year, Front Sight holds a "First Family Reunion" on July 4 to celebrate Independence Day. Front Sight members, called "First Family", are invited to attend a day of free activities including shooting automatic weapons, catered food, and fireworks.

The targets used at Front Sight were invented by Piazza. [ [http://www.ignatius-piazza-and-front-sight-in-small-arms-review.com/ Small Arms Review Article] Retrieved April 5, 2008.]

Since 1999, there have been seven self-inflicted gunshots wounds during instruction at Front Sight. [ [http://www.frontsight.com/SafetyReports.asp?Action=ShowSingle&ID=5 Unintentional Gunshot Wounds] Retrieved April 17, 2008.]

Notable Events

Noted speaker and author on gun violence Lt. Col. Dave Grossman has also taken courses at Front Sight, having graduated from the Four Day Defensive Handgun course. [Front Sight members mass e-mail sent March 25, 2008, which stated "As you can see from his message [included in the mass e-mail] , Lt. Col. Grossman is a great friend of Front Sight. He is also a graduate of our Four Day Defensive Handgun course."]

In 2006, Mark Wahlberg attended sniper shooting classes at Front Sight to prepare for the 2007 movie Shooter [ [http://www.frontsight.com/msn-vid.asp Mark Wahlberg interview] ] .

In 2006, Piazza and Front Sight were sued in a class action by certain members of the "First Family", an exclusive membership to the Front Sight facility, for failing to deliver on expectations made when the memberships were purchased. [ [http://www.klas-tv.com/Global/story.asp?S=4091067 A Gun and a Dream] KLAS TV report. Retrieved May 3, 2007.] [ [http://www.frontsightlitigation.com/ Front Sight Litigation] Attorney webpage. Retrieved May 3, 2007.] A settlement was reached in 2007.

On July 4, 2007, a person died while using a "Zip Line" from the rappelling tower. [ [http://www.frontsight.com/SafetyReports.asp?Action=ShowSingle&ID=6 Zip Line Fatality] Retrieved April 17, 2008.] This is the only fatality that has occurred at Front Sight. In March 2008, Front Sight received zoning, planning, and tentative map approval from the Nye County Planning Department and Nye County Commissioners for a destination hotel and interval ownership condominium development on a portion of the 550 acre facility in Nevada. [ [http://www.pahrumpvalleytimes.com/2008/Mar-26-Wed-2008/news/20528202.html Pahrump Valley Times Article - March 2008] Retrieved April 5, 2008.] Previously, the land on the facility was intended to be used for a housing development [ [http://web.archive.org/web/20000229230549/www.frontsight.com/facility.htm Las vegas Facility] Retrieved April 17, 2008.] expected to be "the safest community in America", but due to the results of the 2006 class action lawsuit, the plans were changed.

Activism

Front Sight's purpose is to "restore the second amendment" [ [http://www.survivalblog.com/ignatius-piazza/gun-ownership.html Survival Blog] ] by "positively affecting the image of gun ownership in our lifetime."

Since 2002, Front Sight has supported the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program [ [http://www.tsa.gov/lawenforcement/programs/ffdo.shtm FFDO Program] ] , offering gun training for pilots [ [http://www.secure-skies.org/Pilots_In_Cockpit.php Centennial Journal Article - 120000 Pilots Still Not Armed in the Cockpit] ] .

Front Sight has also made the news after several school shootings offering firearms training for teachers. [ [http://www.frontsight.com/news.asp?Action=ViewNews&ID=45 Sierra Times Article] ] [ [http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewNation.asp?Page=/Nation/archive/200103/NAT20010307b.html Cybercast News Article] ] . Front Sight offered free firearms training to three teachers per school. [ [http://www.frontsight.com/news.asp?Action=ViewNews&ID=46 Courier Press Article] ]

Front Sight is supported by the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, and the Gun Owners of America. [ [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tm1OkTq2ps Video - JPFO, GOA Support] ] Front Sight also is supported by the Friends of the NRA [ [http://www.ignatius-piazza.com/charities/civil_liberties/FriendsofTheNRA.htm Friends of the NRA Letter] Retrieved April 15, 2008.] .

Also see Ignatius Piazza.

Training

The majority of Front Sight courses involve firearms training, but there are many other classes available. Among the firearms courses offered are handgun, shotgun, rifle and submachine gun; and these are available as one, two or four day series. Other types of training include: empty hand defense, edged weapons, rappel and climb, child safety, youth achievement, corporate team building, and an armorer's course (all at Front Sight Nevada) [ [http://www.frontsight.com/Courses.asp Front Sight Nevada course listing] ] and big game hunting, bird hunting, fishing, children's outdoors safety, kayaking, and bear safety] (at Front Sight Alaska). [ [http://www.frontsight.com/alaska/Training/index.asp Front Sight Alaska course listing] ] .

Some of these classes are only available by invitation, or to those who have completed necessary prerequisite courses.

Before the course begins, a first time student must pass a background check in excess of Federal requirements, and may require a reference from an existing Front Sight member or previous student. People wishing to take courses who do not know a Front Sight Member or previous student may use upstanding members of society as references. Students can bring their own firearms or rent from the facility’s Pro Shop for the duration of their courses.

Approximately 10% of people attending a course at Front Sight become lifetime members.

Membership

Front Sight offers lifetime memberships in what is called the "First Family" with varying degrees of entitlement [ [http://www.frontsight.com/handgun-training-memberships.asp Membership Types] ] . Various types of memberships have been offered since 1996, some of which are no longer available. Most current memberships are available through the website, but some are only offered to those on the Front Sight e-mail list newsletter.

As of April 2008, there are approximately 8,500 members of Front Sight. [Ignatius Piazza's LinkedIn.com profile, retrieved April 17, 2008.]

Generally, these lifetime memberships include course certificates which allow a student to take their first course at Front Sight for free. Commonly, these certificates are given to family and friends, raffled off in fundraisers, or donated to local law enforcement or other charities.

In addition to receiving highly discounted or free training for life, members also generally receive guaranteed enrollment in courses, discounts on firearms and ammunition from the Front Sight Pro Shop, access to the members section of the website, and invitations to the 4th of July "reunion" every year.

Other Services

Transcripts of much of the first time attendee's classes have been turned into "Gun Training Reports" that are available on the website without cost when joining the non-exclusive mailing list.

"Dry Practice" manuals in ammunition-less home practice are available via the website. These are soft cover manuals with black and white photo illustrations.

Semi-weekly newsletters are sent through the general mailing list, with an initial period of daily gun training reports.

The "Front Sight Blog" is published every couple days. Every Monday's post is relevant to "gun ownership, firearms training or Second Amendment issues." [ [http://www.ignatius-piazza-front-sight.com/ Front Sight Blog] ]

References

External links

* http://www.frontsight.com/
* http://www.ignatius-piazza.com/
* http://www.friendsofnra.org/


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