Overview of the company.
In 1995, I received a US Military Conceal Carry license which allowed me to conceal carry for military purposes under military orders. This was when I started to learn about conceal carry. In the summer of 2007, I received my New Mexico Conceal Carry License. I remember quite a few things about the training, but the biggest thing I took from this was an idea that, given my background as a military weapons mechanic and helicopter door instructor gunner, I could teach this. This was a way to give back to my community. In January of 2015, I was working towards being a range safety office and helping a close friend who had started a company. I was not looking for a full-time job, I was just trying to use my military firearms experience to continue to teach. Eventually I decided I wanted to stay independent and create this opportunity on my own. I worked closely with the owners of Full Metal Jacket Firearm gun store in Rio Rancho and I developed a couple of courses. This connection helped me understand my vision and allowed me to focus on the qualify of training I want to provide. I wanted to maintain high quality curriculums, teach high quality courses, and provide the best training available to the local community.
On March 23, 2015, I created the company which later changed to Vigilant Firearms Training LLC. By this time, I was NRA trained and certified as an instructor and I created my own conceal carry training which was approved by the state. I was state certified to teach concealed carry and I worked with 2 friends who taught me how to teach civilians. I knew right from the start that military tactics and techniques were not going to work with teaching the public. In 2017, I learned about the USCCA while trying to maintain my vision of continuous improvement. I became an instructor, then later a training counselor. It was becoming clear to me that providing a service to my community was the driving force for this company. I worked closely with a few instructors, a couple of them still teach with VFT regularly.
The goal of this company is to enable the responsibly armed American to understand, learn, practice, and teach the use firearms. We focus on providing a SAFE, CALM, and EFFECTIVE environment in which to learn. Over the years, and with hundreds of students, we have made some mistakes along the way. We learned from them, we adapted our techniques, and we improved our service. The future of VFT is in the hands of the customers. Based on the demand of our customers, we went from having a single class every 3 to 4 months, to monthly classes, to our current schedule of multiple classes per month. At one point, the instructors sat down and discussed the class size and range process. At that point, we were getting 20 people in the classroom and close to 30 people on the range at once. We did this twice before we realized there is a better way. Our class size now remains small at 10 students for one simple reason. Our customers asked for more one-on-one time on the range. More instructors, less students means a better learning environment and better understanding for the customers.
In September of 2020, we are in the middle of a high demand for firearms training. We are teaching public and private classes every single week. We have 3 instructors on board and we also have a dedicated instructor for women’s courses. Women teaching women is a demand we are trying to fill. As we continue grow, we are striving to improve service through email newsletters and notifications for state required 2-year and 4-year training. We expanded our private training capability, and we have one dedicated classroom to date.
We continue to stay grounded on the foundational ideas, values, and concepts that created this company.
— Keith Kolb