This Handgun Instructor’s Certification Should Be PERMANENTLY Revoked

Jan Morgan

About the author: Jan is a nationally recognized 2nd Amendment Advocate/Speaker/ NRA Certified Firearms Instructor/ Associated Press Award winning investigative journalist/ Owner/Editor JanMorganMedia.com, Sr. Editor/Patriot Update/ Independent Constitutional Conservative. She is closely aligned with the Republican/ ... [read 's FULL BIO]

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We do not need instructors that are more of a danger to concealed carry students than the criminals they are training to defend themselves against.

Ohio firearms instructor Terry Dunlap has had TWO negligent discharges where he accidentally shot people in his presence.
The most recent occurred during the concealed handgun class he was teaching. He shot Michael Piemonte, 27, of Pataskala, while he was demonstrating a .38-caliber handgun. The bullet hit Piemonte’s right arm. The shooting occurred on Aug. 10 toward the end of a 12-hour day of training in gun handling and safety.

There are four simple rules of gun safety that, if practiced by this instructor, should have prevented him from accidentally shooting not one, but TWO people.

1) finger off the trigger until ready to shoot
2) always treat the gun as if it is loaded
3) keep the gun pointed in a safe direction, never point a gun at something you do not intend to shoot
4) know what is beyond your target

A special prosecutor declined to file felony charges, but a city attorney felt that the negligent discharge was worth prosecuting:

Terry Dunlap Sr. has been charged with negligent assault in connection with the accidental shooting.
Conviction of the third-degree misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

This was Dunlap’s second time negligently shooting someone. He was a Pickerington police department auxiliary lieutenant when he shot a teenager in the leg while on a hayride in 1977.

The Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission is only suspending Dunlap’s teaching credentials for a year.
This is insane. The Commission, if it does not reverse its decision, should be held responsible for any and all future accidents connected to Dunlap.

As an NRA Certified and State Police certified pistol instructor, I am all about responsibly arming and training fellow Americans. I want there to be an abundance of well trained certified instructors out there to help me with my mission of arming and training as many Americans as humanly possible.
That being said, QUANTITY does not equate to QUALITY.

I am outraged at the number of instructors out there who are simply taking people’s money and not properly training them.
I recently viewed an instructors pamphlet where he used a photo promoting his classes and the photo was of a woman’s hand IMPROPERLY gripping the gun with her off hand thumb BEHIND THE SLIDE of semi-automatic handgun. He was NOT using the photo to demonstrate improper grip. He clearly did not know better.

I believe if instructors are going to charge students to take their classes, those instructors should be periodically audited by undercover state police officers. This would force instructors to, at the very least, teach the required basics to people who are paying them to acquire this knowledge.
I know for a fact that too many instructors are not properly training people because many of those people end up taking my class after they have already paid someone else to teach them and they were not taught even the basics.

In my classes, we use air soft pistols in the classroom and plastic bullets. The only time real guns are pulled out of cases or holsters in my class is when we are actually in the shooting range, in the shooting lane and firearms are ALWAYS POINTED DOWNRANGE.

It is past time to crack down on negligent instructors in this country who apparently do not feel the moral conviction to acquire the proper knowledge, safe gun handling skills, and teach all of the disciplines necessary to properly and responsibly arm Americans who take their classes.
I welcome an audit of my classes any time.

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  • RobertL

    A complete idiot!

  • jrice2n

    I do not feel the need to lock and load until necessary. I am not on patrol in a combat zone.

    • Actually.. I am always locked and loaded…. I live in America where the crime rate has created a combat zone.

      • ADRoberts

        Same with me. Every gun in the house is loaded, though semis do not have one in the chamber.
        The Raging Judge w/ 6 inch barrel is so big that my wife can’t pull the trigger and hold it up. (That one is for me alone)
        Besides, I have good reason to ASSUME that all guns are loaded. They are.

    • Saltporkdoc

      Enjoy your expensive paper weight/club! By the time it becomes “necessary” it probably will be too late!
      Today, your living room is a combat zone. You just don’t know it yet!

      • jrice2n

        You mean I can’t be like Matt Dillon and let the bad guy shoot first(joke). You are right though, it is a paper weight in it’s present condition, but a little safer. Maybe my Vietnam experience has affected my judgement and I foolishly do not live in fear. Maybe living in VT.,where everyone can carry a gun, also affects my foolish behavior. My wife and I travel in an RV about half the year, I just try to avoid hostile areas(and the police). If ever I am in a dangerous situation, I pray that someone like you will be close by.

        Right now, I am more worried about the police taking my weapon as the 2nd amendment does not seem to apply in NY city, Chicago, etc. and their is no universal reciprocity for the concealed carry which isn’t even known in VT.

    • mule man

      sonny you are setting yourself up to fail-were you in that instructors class ,cuz you aint thinkin either

  • stonepigs_com

    Jan, I whole-heartedly support your mission, but I’d like to stop short of advocating a legislative or executive government solution to this problem. I agree the problem is there and I applaud the city attorney who is pressing charges. Perhaps that, by itself, will improve the focus and mindset of instructors. No one wants to spend time in the pokey for their negligence … or spend the rest of their lives in regret for their actions. I would favor an increase in the influence of a private certification authority that can police the instructor ranks w/o the heavy hand of government.

  • maddog2008

    I have carried for over 40 years, 30 of which was on my job as a FLEO and have never discharged my firearm by accident. My father was a NRA instructor, a Marine DI and all of the years he carried, which were many, never made a mistake like this instructor has. As much as I hate to say it, but maybe it is time for him to step down because he has lost the ability to preform his job to it’s fullest and that can cause someone’s death.

    • USMC and America proud

      Semper Fi, and I was thinking the same thing! I’ve been carrying loaded weapons since I was around 10 years old, have carried BOTH type firearms in the Marines, got out and have carried ever since, and never even had a round to discharge even if in a gun-jam situation, much less careless discharge!

      • maddog2008

        With the number of firearms that I have carried and handled over the past 50+ years I never had one “slam fire” either. I heard a couple of guys at the range complain that his pistol have caused him to accidently discharge and almost shot the guy next door. I think he was looking for any excuse not to look stupid. One thing for sure, he sure as heck shouldn’t be “playing” with his pistol on his front porch.

        • USMC and America proud

          LOL!! Yeah buddy!! 😉

  • astrojohn

    So somehow he didn’t know a pistol was loaded? Now that’s REAL incompetence…

  • ADRoberts

    Lucky for us that God is not as unforgiving as this writer. I know. I know.
    But the most righteous indignation of people who are sure that they are perfect is so ridged that God, who is VERY stern would be embarrassed by such absolutely judgment. Apparently accidents have never happened in their life.

    • beancounter

      This was not an “accident”, this was negligence. And the author is not professing to be perfect but speaking from experience and using fact to support her position. I can’t help wonder how you would respond if you had been the shooting victim instead.

    • Shirley

      One shot in the leg, the other in the arm. They were darned lucky they weren’t hit in the head or chest. The man is dangerous. He should never teach safety again. This is not a joke. It should not be taken lightly.

  • mc50

    The article stated “a .38 caliber handgun”, so he accidently shot someone with a revolver?

  • Archie

    I would prefer the instructors be audited by other instructors rather then police officers. As an ex-LEO I understand that all aren’t really good with guns.

  • Chop Doc

    I had to read this twice for the first time I had the feeling an anti gun liberal wrote it. This guys shot someone in 1977. Do we know the circumstances behind this shooting, same thing with the recent shooting. Do we know anything about it? Its clear the one who wrote this was more interested in tooting her own horn than the facts. Did he have a missfire and the gun went off when he turned? We dont know for the only facts presented to us was yes, an accidental shooting happened.
    Before someone goes and cast stones and sits on their high horse and judges another they best have all the facts, unless they are applying for a job at MSNBC.

    I am a gun loving, constitutionalist, active Tea party member. We must hold ourselves to a higher standard than the “say whatever feels good” liberals or we will be no better than they are.

    • beancounter
      • Chop Doc

        After looking at about half a dozen news stories on this from the link you provided the only new information is it was a ricochet, and the special investigator said no felony charges needed to be filed. Still we dont have the whole story on either of these instances. We only have a mere outline and that isnt proof enough to form a lynch mob.

        • USMC and America proud

          I’m sorry, but I MUST ask!! Do you have a concealed weapons permit? If so, would you want an instructor that preached weapon safety that had an accidental discharge on his chart? Even IF a ricochet, it is clear that the instructor either didn’t check the weapon sufficiently, or was holding a piece that want pointed ‘downrange’! If it were a ‘cook off’ then he would have known the rule on holding a weapon that had just misfired! The ONLY excuse an instructor should EVER have on an accidental discharge, is another person grabbed the weapon from him and set it off! In a rooom showing several people how to HOLD a firearm properly, should be done with a plastic fake, and even THEN should show the greatest of care to his audience! A loaded gun in a group learning firearm safety SHOULD NEVER EXIST! Now you might say “well how about teaching the proper way to load my weapon”? That should be done on the firing range with plenty of protection set up so that others don’t get hurt!
          I know you want to give the benefit of a doubt, as I do! But I have also seen instructors that shouldn’t BE instructors! A GOOD instructor is one who is able to train in stressful environments set up to make the class react properly in life threatening situations! If the class is one that just let’s you fire at a piece of paper that doesn’t return fire you’re not being trained for anything other than hitting a target! Stress in a real life situation, is going to be “off the chart”, and how to handle that stress without endangering property or, more importantly, PEOPLE, should be required for ALL CCW holders, no matter what state they live in! I have a range here in NC that trains CCW holders, police, swat, military (Seals) and even FBI and CIA! You wouldn’t BELIEVE how badly trained they are when starting the course! You can tell though, by how many bulletholes there are in places like the roof and floors!! 😉 The instructors for this course are like Navy Seals, Rangers and such, that have set up a 30+ acre course designed to scare the fool out of you so that by the end of their training, you know how to handle a real live fire situation without killing somebody’s kid standing near a perp! I’ve seen women police officers DROP their loaded weapon, and throw their hands up in front of their faces! THIS is the real training that ALL of the nations law enforcement should have, before ever being issued a badge and a uniform!
          So to be easy on this instructor, it doesn’t say if someone grabbed the weapon from him, but if so, he shouldn’t have been charged! If NOT then he should be fired!

          • Chop Doc

            USMC, I agree. I am an avid pro gunner and I believe gun safety is first and foremost always. My whole point is that before we condemn a man who spent his life in law enforcement and now in his 70’s is still doing what he can for the people, that we should know the facts, not fly off the handle on speculation.
            If he was in a classroom and his weapon discharged then yes, his certification should be revoked, yet what if he was on the firing line, had his guns on a table, one misfired, he set it down and it discharged. We dont know for the reporting on this is dismal at best. Thats why I refuse to condemn a man who protected and served until I know what really happened. I feel we owe him that much for his service.

    • There is one clear and undeniable fact… live ammunition should have never been brought into the classroom.

      As the instructor he has an obligation to provide a safe environment to his students and most instructors (myself included) will have people sign a hold harmless/indemnity agreement before they can attend the class.

      Except… such indemnity agreements become null and void if the instructor acted in a reckless or negligent manner such as is provide here.

      Before each class I teach, before I even leave my house. I check each and every firearm I will be bringing into my class to ensure the actions and chambers are clear.

      When picking up a firearm to demonstrate it during a class it is safety checked TWICE; once by myself when I initially pick it up and again by asking one of the attending students to verify with me that the action is clear and the chamber is empty.

      THOSE are the facts. This guy screwed the pooch by not clearing his firearms before bringing them into class.

      He should be held to the fullest extent of the law both criminally and civilly.

      • Chop Doc

        Paladin, we know it was a class but we dont know if it was in a classroom or on a firing line.

        • True. The facts as reported do not bear that out. If it was on the firing line, the basics still hold true with regards to pointing the muzzle in a safe direction at all times, finger off the trigger, etc…

          I’m somehow not thinking that a student ran in front of the gun.

          • Chop Doc

            One thing that was reported is the gun discharged and the round ricocheted before hitting the student.

    • Steven

      The ONLY relevant information is that a person that is supposed to be teaching PROPER use of a gun is NOT practicing BASIC gun safety. If you believe it is POSSIBLE to accidentally discharge, even a DEFECTIVE firearm, while demonstrating gun safety in a class, you need to take gun safety 101 from a QUALIFIED instructor. Under NO POSSIBLE set of facts is this fool qualified to teach.

      • Chop Doc

        Steven, do you actually believe that your putting words in all capital letters make them carry more weight?
        I dont trust the media especially when the majority of them are anti 2nd amendment. The only thing we really know is a gun safety class was being taught, and a student was hit by a ricochet round. Thats all we know. Was it in a class room or a firing line? Was there a misfire? Was there something behind the target that shouldnt of been there that the round ricocheted off of?
        I would hope that if anything ever happened to you that people wont be quick to judge and condemn you without knowing the full story as you are doing so here.
        The liberal media is making mountains out of every mole hill they can find to help the gun confiscation agenda along including false reporting. The instructor in question is retired police and deserves the right to be innocent until proven guilty. If it comes out that he did in fact use a loaded weapon inside a classroom and plain stupidity caused this accident then he deserved to have his credentials taken, as well as all the scorn and ridicule thats been heaped upon him in this forum, but lets wait until we know the facts before we go grabbing the tar and feathers.

        • Steven

          BS, what we know is that an INCOMPETENT ‘instructor’ and I use the wore VERY loosely, had a LOADED weapon in a position were it was POSSIBLE to discharge it in class. That is ALL we need to know.

          PS, The fact you KNEW I use capitals for emphasis is PROOF they accomplish that goal.

          • Chop Doc

            What we know Steve is your no better than a liberal. Only reason i am giving you credit for not being an actual liberal is because your pro gun, but your no better than them.

          • Steven

            On WHAT basis do you claim I am no better than a liberal? You may not like the reasoning I give for my statements, but at least I give one. By that standard, YOU are for closer acting like a liberal than me.

          • Chop Doc

            Really Steven, the old play ground standard “no im not but you are”? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

          • Steven

            You just PROVED my point. Instead of ATTEMPTING to support your statements, you just FALSELY accuse me of making the claim you made.

          • Chop Doc

            Thats just it Steven, your so hell bent on ensuring “your right” that you fail to take anything but your own point of view into consideration. Since when have we become a nation that was guilty until proven innocent? None of us knows all the details. None of us know anything more than the bare minimum details yet many including you are on the band wagon to condemn. The article says he had two accidental discharges. How did the first one happen? What are the details? What do we know about this one other than a gun discharged, the round ricocheted and a student was hit. How did the gun discharge? Where was the class when this happened? We dont know the details which is why I refuse to condemn him. He was also a police officer. He put his life on the line to keep we the people safe. Thats why I give him the benefit of doubt.

          • Steven

            That would by “You’re right’, and it describes YOUR position to a T. You continue to claim I am guilty of everything YOU are doing without even PRETENDING to present anything remotely resembling evidence.

          • Chop Doc

            Well Steven, once again your wrong. Seems to have become a habit for you pal but hey, at least you can correct spelling and grammer. Anal nitwits are usually good at that and it seems your excelling there. Its also a well known tactic for liberals when they have nothing constructive to add and already been proven wrong. Out of curiosity, how many times did you vote for obama this last election?

            The bottom line is your upset because someone has the audacity not to condemn this instructor like you have. As far as your concerned its past time to get the hangmans noose for this isntructor, he is guilty regardless that the evidence is flimsy and many details are missing. I say this in all honesty Steven, I hope your never judged by the same standards you used here for this instructor.

            And just so you know, special prosecutor Jeffrey Hunter filed a report in Febuary with the offices of the city and county prosecutors. Hunter, who was appointed special prosecutor to look into the shooting, concluded that there were no grounds for a felony charge because the shooting was an accident and Dunlap had not been acting recklessly. Hunter said he was leaving it up to the city prosecutor to determine whether a misdemeanor
            charge was warranted. On March 10th Lancaster Assistant City Prosecutor Stephanie Hall filed the charge of negligent assault in Fairfield County
            Municipal Court.

            Other than that, as far as I am concerned we are done here. Seeing how your back to using cap locks to add weight to word in your quest for superiority because those same words dont substantiate your claims then any other further discussion with you is pointless and really just a waste of my time. So go ahead Steven, beat your chest torwards the heavens and declare yourself the winner but keep in mind, we both know you have nothing and you made a poor showing of yourself here. Maybe one day you can move on and correct spelling and grammer elsewhere on the internet.

          • Steven

            You were done before your first reply, but you will PROBABLY reply one more time to deny the blatantly obvious. Your attempt at psychoanalyzing me is pathetic. It couldn’t be further from the truth if you WERE qualified and TRYING to be wrong. I use caps to emphasize words because italics are not available. YOU refuse to admit that because it doesn’t support what YOU wish to believe.

    • jaws4316

      It is clearly idiotic for someone who has accidentally shot someone on
      two separate occasions to be allowed to continue teaching gun safety,
      especially certification for CC classes. Regardless of the circumstances this man is unqualified to teach gun safety and handling. Jan Morgan is no judgmental liberal who says whatever feels good. She is a highly qualified professional firearms instructor, therefore she has every right to offer her opinion on this subject.

  • sammy13

    I have often stated (mostly elsewhere) that there is a demonic evil spreading across our Nation. This evil cause good people to do stupid (and worse) things in the belief that they are taking the high road for the good of all Americans. This evil also causes some spontaneous heinous activity. It has infected our political process; our entertainment industry, etc.

    This ‘instructor’ is probably a good and honorable man. However, evil has caused him to be careless. Two accidental shootings which provides more fodder for the anti-gunners crusade.

    Evil in entertainment (violent movies where good and bad are nearly identical; 1st person shooter games, music denigrating women and praising cop killings,, etc) and parenting (he/she is a good kid, just quiet and likes to be alone with his/her videos, etc)has allowed seeming good kids to go on a rampage killing folks in schools and theaters. No one saw it coming. More “proof” that we do not need a 2d Amendment.

    Our president once talked about the folks who cling to their religion or bibles and guns. Nothing wrong in my opinion regarding my believing in the bible and self defense. However, twisted around, and we are not a nation founded ion biblical values, are not a Christian nation, and again, owning a gun is somewhat evil.

    There is a demonic evil in our midst. We must look at these type incidents that way and what can be made of the facts.

    • Wayne Ogilvy

      Sammy, There is nothing evil about owning a firearm to protect yourself and others from evil persons using weapons to harm others. The evil would be to do nothing to defend people from evil doers. Evil was in the hearts of men long before guns were invented my friend !

    • MontieR

      You would rather be at the mercy of this evil you speak of ? You lost me at the second is NOT needed. It is YOUR choice to forgo self defense. You will NOT remove MY choice to defend myself or my family or my community.

  • Saltporkdoc

    I am a former Ohio Deputy Sheriff and Municipal Police Officer as well as a CCW holder in the state. I WILL be in touch with OPOTC, the agency overseeing licensure of civilian and Police Firearms instructors about this travesty!

    Thank you for giving me an opportunity to help in this matter, Jan. I live in Toledo but had not heard of this clown’s misbehavior!

  • Charlie

    Just to be a smart ass have to say it surprises me that this so called instructor did not get a round fired back at him. After all he has a history of shooting his students . At the least someone should of beat the tar out of him for being careless dolt .

  • Sunshine Kid

    The handgun instructor should be investigated and charged – as well as the special prosecutor for NOT doing his job.

  • He forgot to mention the first rule before all others…


  • Dale H Brown

    I was taught many years ago when I was in the Marine Corps , there was no such thing as an “accidental discharge”–it was not paying attention and handling a weapon unsafely.
    If that ever happened on Rifle or Pistol Range when I was being instructed or while I was instructing a shooter , either I or he would be eating that weapon–

  • anarchyst

    There are “dummy” rounds that are commonly used by gunsmiths (and others) to check for proper functioning.
    I would suggest that ALL firearms instructors utilize these to show how to properly unload a semi-automatic fire arm.
    1. Remove the magazine . . .
    2. Pull the slide to the rear, facing the ejection port downward to remove the round.
    Weapon is now safely unloaded.