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   FAQs Handgun Carry Classes
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"We hope you will find the answers to your questions here. If not, please EMAIL us at:

Please respect the fact that our people are all volunteers and we can not answer class-related questions via telephone due to the volume of calls we must handle. EMAILS are handled promptly, often within minutes during regular business hours and quickly otherwise.

Thanks so much for your interest in SFWA's Handgun Carry Permit classes!

It is our desire that you have an empowering and educational experience that is both rewarding and worth telling others about!


Are the classes really FREE?

Yes; SFWA offers women (and men who accompany a woman) the opportunity to take a Handgun Carry Permit Course, FREE! Until more recent months, it was possible to get a seat in a class without making a pre-class donation. But, with the popularity of the class, most people are now making pre-class donations to assure that they have a "confirmed" and not a "standby" seat in the class that suits their busy lifestyle.

Can MEN attend a class?
Yes, SFWA is excited to offer men who accompany a woman the exceptional benefit of participating in the SFWA State Certified Handgun Carry Permit Course. Men may NOT register UNLESS they will be attending with a woman. Why? Because SFWA is an all volunteer non-profit organization with an express mission to educate and motivate women toward the benefits of personal protection through providing woman-friendly classes that help empower women (and men who attend with that woman). 

Does each person register SEPARATELY?
Yes, each person (man or woman) must register separately for a seat in the Handgun Carry Permit class.  

Can I really use SFWA's handguns to qualify FREE?
Yes, SFWA will provide a handgun to students at no cost to use while qualifying on the shooting range. The AMMO is not provided and must be purchased at the range or other SFWA approved outlet for use in SFWA firearms. (Many students like to use our handguns even if they own their own because the ammunition costs very little as compared to that used in typical handgun carry pistols.) 

What happens if I register for a class and ultimately am unable to attend?
You may transfer your seat to another person, or you may EMAIL us and we will be happy to move you to a different class in the future (based on availability, of course). NOTE: You are only permitted to transfer your seat ONE time—if you are unable to make the second date for ANY reason, re-registration will be required. SFWA will also permit your confirmed seat to be transferred to another person (You must EMAIL us and provide the new person's full name, a valid email address and telephone number prior to attending the class). Remember, pre-class donations for a "Confirmed Seat" are non-refundable.  Also, you must transfer or reschedule your class within one (1) year of the date you missed the class. After one year, you will move to a "standby only status" unless you choose to make another non-refundable donation to confirm a seat in a specific class and date. No one will be permitted to enter the class on the day of the class without prior confirmation of standby seat availability or pre-confirmed seat reservation online. See the "standby seat" information listed in the FAQs for full details.

Please understand that SFWA's mission to help empower women. Although SFWA allows men to attend the classes with the ladies in their lives, a woman's confirmed seat may only be transferred to another woman (An additional man may attend with the woman to whom the confirmed seat is transferred, however the man MUST register separately. Please EMAIL us if the class is full or registration is closed and we will open up a seat for the man to attend with the woman to whom the seat was transferred.)

What happens if I register for a class and it is rescheduled to a different date or moved to the shooting range?
Your donation is non-refundable as outlined in the SFWA FAQ questions herein. Classes are subject to change based on various issues that are out of the control of SFWA and therefore, when you register for a class and receive a "pre-class confirmed seat" and the class must be reset to a different date, or moved from a remote classroom to the shooting range for both the classroom and range portion of the course, you may choose to transfer your seat to a different class/location or attend the rescheduled class with the rest of the students. When you select a date and time and location for a class, and it must be moved or changed, you will NOT receive a refund as per the Notice contained herein.

What do I need to wear?
Be careful to dress appropriately for the shooting range. Those who are not dressed appropriately for everyone's safety will be prohibited from completing the range portion of the course and will be required to finish the class at a rescheduled time. If your attire is such that a hot casing would land on sensitive skin areas, the alternative to rescheduling the range portion of the course is that you will be required to wear socks and/or a t-shirt or scarf provided by the shooting range safety officers. Attire is subject to the final approval of the instructor(s) or range safety officer(s) and is not subject to dispute. PLEASE DO NOT WEAR open-toed shoes, shoes without socks that are above the ankle, boots or other shoes that are loose enough that a stray casing could slip in, or a shirt that has an open neckline. Sleeveless shirts with high necklines and shorts are acceptable as arms and legs are typically not as sensitive as other areas. If there is any chance a stray hot empty casing would be able to touch your skin (and potentially cause a natural jerk reaction), you will be required to cover the area to keep everyone safe from the potential for an accident when shooting on the range.

What do I need to bring to class?
Bring your driver's license (or other valid photo ID), something to write on, and with, to take notes. PLEASE NO firearms or ammunition are permitted in the classroom. Proper transportation of firearms and ammunition to and from the range for personal use during the live-fire portion of the course will be discussed during class.    

What times to the classes start?
The Handgun Carry Permit course is an 8 hour course, which is set by the state.

Single day classes: If the class you are attending is a class that will take place in a single day, you will need to arrive approximately 15 minutes prior to the start time of the class. Plan a full 8 hours from the start time of the class, plus your commute time to and from the classroom location as you set your schedule. (Time required associated with the range portion of the course is included in the times above.)

Split (2) day classes: If the class you select takes place on two different days, you will still need to arrive approximately 15 minutes early each day and consider your commute time to and from the classroom. (Time required associated with the range portion of the course is included in the times above.)   IMPORTANT NOTE . . . every so often, students are confused about the start and end times for the second day of the course after actually registering for a 2 day class because the online registration program AUTOMATICALLY inserts the ending time as the beginning time on the second day (this is a glitch in the electronic program that we use to allow online registrations and hopefully in the near future it will be corrected by the programmers.) Please do not assume that the times have been changed from those you originally selected--the times listed on the website for the class you selected are the correct times for the second day of the class. Hopefully, this note will help avoid any confusion. Emailing us to confirm the above is not necessary.

What if I am LATE to class?

You should arrive about 15 minutes early (prior to the start time of the class) to assure you can get settled before the course begins. Classes start PROMPTLY at the scheduled start time. Because late arrivals may disrupt the class, you may be prohibited from entering the classroom until the first break which could jeopardize your successful completion of the course. PLEASE allow sufficient travel time. If you will be more than 10 minutes late to class, you may EMAIL us that you could not arrive on time and request we move you to a different class in the future. (If you arrive more than 30 minutes late to the class, you will be required to reschedule a time to attend a different class in the future as students are required by the state to be present during the class--no one will be permitted to jump into a class and then take the test hoping to pass. There is a lot more important information that students receive during the course than can be included on the test--it is not just about "passing the test"; it is about being properly informed about the safety and legalities of carrying a handgun for personal protection.)

Do I need a PayPal account to register online?
, SFWA confirmed seat pre-class donations that are paid online are deposited into SFWA's PayPal account. You do not need a PayPal account to make a donation with a credit card, debit card bearing the Visa or MasterCard logo, or an electronic check.

Notice regarding all Donations whether paid through PayPal or otherwise:
Remember, when you make a donation to SFWA, it is NOT a fee for services--it is a DONATION and it is NON-REFUNDABLE. Please do not make a donation unless you AGREE that the donation you are making is NON-REFUNDABLE and you understand and agree that if for ANY reason, you do not attend a class that you may receive a pre-course "confirmed seat" for, you may not dispute the charge on your credit card.  By making the donation, you are agreeing to the non-refundable provision.  

Are drinks and food permitted in the classroom?
Yes, drinks are permitted in the classroom. However, food is NOT permitted.

How long will I need to tell my babysitter that I will be away?
The Handgun Carry Permit course is an 8 hour course, which is set by the state. You need to make plans for your babysitter to be with your children for 8 hours from the start time of the class, plus your commute time to and from the classroom location. If the class you select takes place on two different days, you will need to make plans for your babysitter to be with your children 4 hours each day, plus your commute time.
Classroom Portion of the Course
:  The classes that take place in the evenings, run until 10 pm, and start promptly at 6pm. Students must arrive by 5:45 pm or risk the door to the classroom being closed and the need to attend a different class, as we do not permit interruptions once the class has begun for the benefit of everyone. For the classes that take place in a single day, you are required to arrive 15 minutes early, as we start promptly at the appointed time.
Range Portion of the Course:  The best part of the range portion of the class is that you will be able to select the time you want to attend DURING THE CLASS. Special needs are usually able to be accommodated (work schedules, sporting related games, etc), but students are always welcome to select an alternate time and date to attend if need be. So do not worry about the range portion of the course. The commute time to and from the classroom should be included in your scheduling time if you participate in a 2 day split class--there is no additional time scheduling required.

What do I need for the live-fire portion of the course?

Firearms:  Two options:  (1) you may bring your own firearm(s) to the range, subject to instructor veto; (2) you may use one of SFWA's free of charge. 
Ammo:  factory manufactured only—absolutely no reloads.  Bring your own or purchase during the class after verification of what firearm you will be shooting at the range.
Valid Photo ID: The range will need to see your driver's license or other valid photo ID, so do not forget to bring it with you.

Note: The location of range, rules and directions will be announced during the classroom time. SFWA has access to a semi-private indoor range that is the ONLY range in the country designed specifically for women and their families. Eye and ear protection are provided at no charge.

What other costs are there associated with the class?
Your range fee is $12 (paid to the range facility, not SFWA) which includes the use of eye and ear protection, your range time, and your state approved qualification target. Ammunition is extra (the cost is at market rate) and approximately $10 if you are using a SFWA handgun.

How does the "standby seating list" work?
Standby seating is made available for those who want to take a class without making a pre-class non-refundable donation. Please understand that because you are on a "standby" list, does not mean you can show up at a class and "standby" with the hope to get in if it looks like there is room in the classroom for you to participate. No one will be permitted to enter the class on the day of the class without prior confirmation of standby seat availability or the receipt of a pre-confirmed seat reservation made online. Some choose for different reasons to be put on a "standby" list to be able to attend a class without making a pre-class non-refundable donation. If you have been placed on the "standby seat status" because you previously made a donation to confirm a seat and were unable to use in within a year's time of missing your original class, you must EMAIL us when you find a date that works for you and if there is any standby seating availability, we will provide you a confirmation that you may attend that class. Absolutely NO ONE WILL BE PERMITTED to enter a class on the day of the class--even if it appears that there would be ample space to accommodate additional students. Classes are "full" for different reasons which may include the available number of volunteer instructors required to safely conduct the class both on the range and in the classroom or the state imposed limit of students which are approved for a specific school; and of course, we must prepare for each student in the class with their test, necessary tools and allocated ammunition and firearms.

Also, with the number of students we have making pre-class non-refundable donations to confirm their seat the wait time for an opening for a standby seat can be many months. Students with a confirmed seat will be permitted to jump in front of a standby seat holder up until the class is full. Standby seats are approved on the day before the class begins and students are notified by email, so if you have a standby seat, you will need to watch your email the day before the class. Of course, you may also email us if you like but remember that we will not be able to let you know until the day before as we have classes fill up with pre-class non-refundable donations.

Once I Finish the Handgun Carry Permit Safety Class with SFWA, what then?
You will watch a video during the course that explains what to expect when applying for your permit to carry a handgun for personal protection. The fee you pay to the state is $115-$152.50 based on your birthday or expiration of your driver's license (cash, money order, credit or debit card) which also includes the cost of your fingerprinting. REMEMBER, the online certificate that will be on file with the state is good for 6 months  from the date of completion of the class. Please understand that you will NOT be issued a printed paper certificate; all you need to do is go to the Department of Motor Vehicles in your county of residence and provide them with the state generated confirmation number which you received when you registered online through the state's website. If you do not complete the class and go to the DMV to complete the application process within the 6 month period, you will be required to re-take the entire course; so do not let your time expire. (Although it is always good to see past students, you would probably prefer it be in an advanced course rather than you having to repeat the initial course again. We welcome you to return to take the course with us again though, if you must!)

How old must you be to take the course?
You must be a minimum of 21 years of age to apply for a permit to carry a handgun for personal protection. SFWA permits students who will turn 21 within 3 months after completion of the course to participate in the class but they cannot apply for their permit UNTIL they turn 21 years of age.  (Please understand, children under the age of 20 are NOT permitted to sit in on the class with a participating adult.)

What at the requirements for obtaining a Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit?

The applicant shall submit proof of the successful completion of a department approved
Handgun Safety Course within the past six (6) months.


1. Provide CERTIFIED PROOF of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residency (no photocopies).

2. Submit application at any full service Driver License Service Center location.

3. The applicant is required to present a photo ID to the department at the time of filing the application.

4. Pay $115-$152.50 non-refundable application fee payable by cash, certified check, or money order.

5. When the application is processed at the driver service center, the applicant will be given instructions on being fingerprinted.

6. Incomplete applications cannot be processed.



Why are donations to SFWA NON-REFUNDABLE?
There are many reasons, but the main one is that "donations" are not "fees for service"--they are donations made to the Shooting For Women Alliance all volunteer organization which helps us pay for the expenses required to offer ladies and their families the ability to receive quality education about firearms, firearms safety, self defense and personal safety (FREE or at minimal cost, including the use of our firearms without a rental fee should they need one to complete a course we offer) . SFWA was available to you, at the time you were looking for help in any number of situations BECAUSE of the non-refundable donations which were made to the organization by others who have come before you. Thank you so much for donating to SFWA . . . you may never know the difference you will make in the life of another woman just like you! 

Does SFWA do special/private classes for "groups" or other organizations?

YES, so please EMAIL us with the particulars and we will try to accommodate you. Please keep in mind that because time is so limited and we do not want anyone to miss the opportunity to participate in a class, SFWA will often permit other students to attend a "group" scheduled course if room permits. Again, please contact us to discuss details.

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