Ottawa Co. Sheriff's office investigating firearms instructor

The Ottawa Co. Sheriff's office has begun issuing letters regarding an instructor who allegedly issued training certificates to individuals who had not completed the course requirements as established by the NRA, or required by Ohio law. Click here to view the letter.

If you took a class that failed to meet the required 12 hours of instruction, your certificate is not valid for purposes of obtaining an Ohio CHL. Further, if you apply for a CHL using an invalid training certificate, you could face criminal charges. Penalties could include suspension/revocation of your CHL, fines, jail, and a lifetime ban on possessing firearms.

In past similar situations, sheriffs have been reasonable with people who immediately came forward and cooperated. Those that try to hide or lie to investigators are likely to be prosecuted for their crimes.

If you or someone you know have obtained a training certificate from any instructor purporting to meet Ohio training requirements, that did not meet the requirements outlined in state law, your certificate is no good. Use of that certificate to obtain a CHL is a crime.

If you are in this situation, you should contact an attorney. I recommend Sean Maloney, who may be contacted at [email protected].

Even if you have not received this letter, you may still be subject of an investigation and criminal charges. Being honest and cooperating with an investigation is normally the best course of action.

There are many laws that Buckeye Firearms Association is working to change, but it is critical that we follow the laws that are on the books. It does not matter if we like or dislike a law. It does not matter if we think it's a good or a bad law. All that matters is that it is a law, and we follow it. When something like this happens, it paints all CHL holders, and all gun owners, in a bad light. It is unfortunate that the acts of a few people can damage such a large segment of society, but that is the political reality of such reckless behavior.

According to the sheriff's office, anyone who has used a certificate from Mr. William Harrer will have their license suspended or revoked. Providing proof of proper training in a timely manor may allow your license to be reinstated. You can find a list of instructors here -

Note: It is the responsibility of you, the student to insure you have met the requirements outlined in the law. Buckeye Firearms Association will not list any instructor we know to be violating the law, but we can not police every instructor who is listed on our web site. As with every other purchase you make, be sure you get what you pay for.

Buckeye Firearms Association thanks the more than 99% of all NRA/OPOTA instructors who do a good job, and the more than 99% of all CHL holders who follow the law.

Jim Irvine is the Buckeye Firearms Association President, BFA PAC Chairman and recipient of the NRA-ILA's 2011 "Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award" and the CCRKBA's 2012 "Gun Rights Defender of the Year Award."

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