Liability of teaching new shooters

Shorts

TGT Addict
TGT Supporter
Mar 28, 2008
4,594
38
Texas
This question was posed on a forum:

"I am active on a local ... board, and have taken one female shooting the last few weeks, and have dates set with two others who also want to learn...they're getting worried about the economic downturn and want to learn to protect themselves, so I'm making it easy, non-intimidating, and possible for them to try it out (that hooks people the best) and then they can make purchasing decisions.

I do have one concern. This will be the _th person I've taught safety, handling, and shooting to in the past two months. (Not kin). I do it for free and the joy of introducing a convert. But I wonder at liability issues. Is it legal for me to teach without being certified? What if one of them shoots themselves in the foot next month, can I be held liable? I've been pondering that lately..."
So aside from the answer of "if you're doing it often enough go ahead and get Instructor certified" and "get insurance", are there realistic concerns that should be addressed?
 

Texan2

TGT Addict
Nov 8, 2008
7,947
36
South of San Antonio
This question was posed on a forum:


So aside from the answer of "if you're doing it often enough go ahead and get Instructor certified" and "get insurance", are there realistic concerns that should be addressed?
If he is just taking friends with him to the range because they want to try it out and is not advertising himself as an "instructor" then I think he is pretty safe IMO. Of course anyone can file a lawsuit for any reason at all....they would not have much luck in most courts.
Despite all the horror stories we hear about lawsuits, most frivilous lawsuits are seen for what they are and dimissed.

I think the key is whether he is holding himself out as a "buddy" or as an "instructor".
I would not worry to much about it.... ranges have insurance for accidents.
and if his friends want to sue him, maybe he is taking the wrong people to the range....
 

sv6er

Member
Nov 26, 2008
54
6
It might not be a bad idea to have a talk with them at the beginning and tell them they THEY are ultimately responsible for their own safety when around firearms and that he has absolutely no liability. He could then demand a verbal agreement (not that great from a legal standpoint, but if something happened he could have other people he's taken to the range testify that he gives that disclaimer to all of them, or he could have a third friend there as a witness to the verbal acceptance).. or he could print out a really short, non-intimidating liability waiver for them to sign.
 

JKTex

Well-Known
Mar 11, 2008
2,018
38
DFW, North Texas
If he's asking that question, then he needs to stop. It seems like to me, he's making something way to complicated, unless he's worried that the manner in which he's doing it is creating some sort of deception.

To bring it home, how many CHL instructors are worried about the liability of a paying student not being able to handle a gun adequately (and we've all heard horror stories) or for a student not knowing the laws that the instructor addressed? And we've all read threads from CHL holders. If there was a liability issue, there are some CHL Instuctors that need to leave the country...fast.
 

txinvestigator

TGT Addict
May 28, 2008
14,119
113
Ft Worth, TX
If he's asking that question, then he needs to stop. It seems like to me, he's making something way to complicated, unless he's worried that the manner in which he's doing it is creating some sort of deception.

To bring it home, how many CHL instructors are worried about the liability of a paying student not being able to handle a gun adequately (and we've all heard horror stories) or for a student not knowing the laws that the instructor addressed? And we've all read threads from CHL holders. If there was a liability issue, there are some CHL Instuctors that need to leave the country...fast.

To comment on CHL instructors;

Texas Government Code
Sec. 411.208. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY. (a) A court may not hold the state, an agency or subdivision of the state, an officer or employee of the state, a peace officer, or a qualified handgun instructor liable for damages caused by
(1) an action authorized under this subchapter or a failure to perform a duty imposed by this subchapter; or
(2) the actions of an applicant or license holder that occur after the applicant has received a license or been denied a license under this subchapter.
(b) A cause of action in damages may not be brought against the state, an agency or subdivision of the state, an officer or employee of the state, a peace officer, or a qualified handgun instructor for any damage caused by the actions of an applicant or license holder under this subchapter.
(c) The department is not responsible for any injury or damage inflicted on any person by an applicant or license holder arising or alleged to have arisen from an action taken by the department under this subchapter.
(d) The immunities granted under Subsections (a), (b), and (c) do not apply to an act or a failure to act by the state, an agency or subdivision of the state, an officer of the state, or a peace officer if the act or failure to act was capricious or arbitrary.
I worry more about teaching outside of the CHL program. Unless it is a close friend and we are just shooting, I have anyone I instruct with sign a waiver. I know the limitations of a waiver, but it does help. I also stress safety, and regardless of who the student is, a demonstrated lack of safety results in an end to the lesson.
 

Texan2

TGT Addict
Nov 8, 2008
7,947
36
South of San Antonio
That was MY point earlier...
He needs to "take friends to the range"
not..."give lessons"

tx investigator....you ability to pull up the law at a moments notice amazes me....
a nice ability to have.
 

Texas1911

TGT Addict
May 29, 2017
10,623
38
Austin, TX
Liability is assumed if you say you are something you are not.

I help a dozen people, or likely more, a weekend working at Red's. I only offer advice, and it is their free will to accept it.
 

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