Target-Pro Firearms Training Academy


What students say about Target-Pro Firearms Training . . .


Matt Holt I first found Gary’s name on the NRA website when I was looking for a Basic Pistol Instructor class. Little did I know God decided to bless me with a wonderful experience! It took me, due to my personal schedule, nearly two years in order to schedule in the Basic Instructor Training/Basic Pistol class. In that time period, I’ve come to realize that God puts people in your life for a reason; in this case, God has brought me a wealth of knowledge, compassion, discipline, open-mindedness, and strength through Mr. Carrier.

When I finally got to meet Gary, I was extremely excited to finally meet the man behind the emails and phone conversations.  Gary has all the tools necessary to contribute and break new ground in his style of teaching. I believe he epitomizes the very definition of service-to-others, and sacrifice for his students.

My father has been a public school teacher for over 40 years, and he has always taught me, that “Man can take away everything from you, but he can’t take what you know”. Up until I met Gary, and went through his BIT/Pistol Instructor course, I thought my father was the only person I looked up to as a selfless teacher. Gary showed me the raw compassion, drive, and determination that I see in my father, and that I have seen in very few others.

If you want the real deal, the real McCoy of what a true NRA trainer and compassionate teacher that far exceeds the standards of what the NRA holds as an instructor, look no further than Target-Pro Firearms Training Academy. Gary raises the bar to new and unforeseen levels that I haven’t seen in any other instructor I have dealt with.

If you want to feel engaged, confident in your ability to teach others, and have a base model of what you should strive to be as an instructor, look no further, you have found what you are looking for.  If you want to feel the drive to teach, receive the blueprints of how to get a great foundation in your start as an instructor, you search stops here.

The experience in Gary’s classroom, and the training he provided me, is and will be life changing. Gary has allowed me to start walking down a road, I have only had the opportunity to stare at from the sidelines. The BIT/Pistol course has given me a new found confidence in myself, and a new found respect for the NRA Training Counselor. I feel very blessed, and very proud to say that I had the privilege of receiving instruction from Gary Carrier.

I will continue to look up to Gary as a model of what to strive to emulate, as what the NRA is looking for in there instructors.  I will continue to look to Gary as family and a friend, and I will continue to strive to do my very best, so as not to disrespect a man I have come to admire.

Matt Holt ATO, CHS
BIT/Pistol Instructor Class Graduate 2013


Rob Williams

I would like to recommend Gary Carrier as the NRA counselor for instructor classes as well as gun training in general.

While taking his classes, I found it amazing how he was able to take a bunch of gun-ho Vet's, military marksmen and Police Officers, and keep things in order, calm, and on the subject.

I was impressed with his integrity toward the business end and his compassionate feelings towards others in their attempt to start a gun training business.

With him it isn't about carrying a gun and just shoot someone where there is a right to do so. But, it is about understanding the many variables involved, and it is a life/death decision that one is making, that may very well affect the lives of many.

After taking the class, and after months of time has elapsed, the biggest thing I took with me besides the training, is seeing Gary's integrity in dealing with all the aspects of gun training and the business end. Along with meeting all the NRA curricula and standards, Gary addressed many other topics of interest to those who are starting a business.

I have taken other NRA classes and came away with disappointment. Gary's professional and candid manner was a refresher to me and restored my belief in the NRA.

I have already given out Gary's contact info to others.

Rob Williams

Heritage Security


Denise G

Mr. Carrier,

Thank you for the wonderful job on Saturday. I left Saturday with confidence & a good feeling that I will be able to protect myself & family should the need arise. (Well, that is after I purchase my gun. ) I cannot say enough good things about you as a person and instructor. But most of importantly as a Christian. I am still amazed that the love of God could be shown so strongly as yours, during a gun safety class. Please keep letting it shine!!

I’m sure you will hear from us soon as I think we are all anxious to shoot again. : )

Thanks again & tell Isaac hello!

Thanks again,

Denise Glasgow
Portland, TN


TeresaMr. Carrier,

I just wanted to express my thanks to you for a wonderful, positive experience yesterday. I had previously gone shooting with my husband when he was alive, and I know it was not his intent, but I would feel intimidated, thinking I should know more or be better at it. I was so comfortable in your class and under your tutelage. After I got home I started thinking, " THAT WAS FUN", and speaking to Christina, and my sister, Denise, they echoed those words.

I also cannot thank you enough regarding Taylor, I was worried as she had never shot a pistol, and when she did so well I was so proud of her. I do not know what you said to her on the range, but it worked and I am so grateful that you made her first experience so positive and rewarding.

Thanks again,

Teresa Bennett
Portland, TN


I signed up for the Basic Instructor Training (BIT) classes by Gary Carrier after finding him on the NRA website. After visiting his Target-Pro website and finding that we had a commonality with our faith-I called Gary and left a message to make sure I understood everything regarding the course. He called me back quickly and after speaking with him I went online directly to sign up for the Beginner Pistol Instructor Training Course. I had recently been downsized from my job and was looking for a new career direction and while the course costs were outside of my budget, I knew after speaking with Gary on the phone that it was an investment that I really needed to find the funds for.

I was the only female in the class which was somewhat expected and exactly why I was taking the course in the first place. Intimidation could have ran high as I'm a former marketing director for Christian Festivals literally sitting next to police officers, marine snipers and beefy private security detail men. However, Gary made a point to incorporate my skills & abilities into the training giving me value and allowing me to feel comfortable in spite of the 'army' of pros around me.

Gary is a great educator with not only a passion for safe and effective gun handling but takes a great deal of pride from helping his students continue to grow and mature to become the most effective trainers as possible. I would never hesitate to recommend Gary and any of his classes to other students and will be keeping Gary on speed dial as I develop my company as his advice has been spot on and honest every time. He is a rare find and I would highly recommend Gary and his classes for anyone looking for more knowledge and or experience in the firearms world without hesitation.

Holly V. Sansom

Straight Shot Firearms Training Academy
Brentwood, TN


Hello Gary!

You were very enjoyable and a breath of fresh air to be with yesterday. You made learning enjoyable and know how to keep everyone's attention. Time actually went by pretty fast for me as I was dreading a slow, drawn-out, boring class. But, on the contrary, you were just the opposite!! Thank you!

Although this was a class setting with other students, I was made to feel that I was receiving one-on-one personal training, as did those who attended in my party. You connected with every student as you explained every aspect of training.

You truly have a Godly, attitude about the whole subject that you taught, and the fruits, mercy and compassion , have to be deployed along with the deployment of a firearm (wisdom).

My wife Alicia will be taking your safety class sometime this year.

I looked for you last night on FB, but I couldn't find you - glad you found me! Thanks again!

Robert Foley
Portland, TN


Gary is a true teacher. He teaches with a passionate, informative, and thorough approach to firearms and the proper handling of these weapons. As a novice shooter I felt the class was non-intimidating and I left with a new confidence in handling firearms. Thank you Gary, keep up with the good work!

Thanks Again Gary!

Joe Crider
Cane Ridge, TN



I participated in Gary Carrier's handgun safety course today and had a great experience. When I decided to take a handgun safety course, I looked into several courses in my area that were on a list given to me by the state. I was immediately impressed with the professionalism of Gary's website and all the information that was contained on it. I decided to take his class and I am glad that I did. Gary has a lifetime of shooting, training and teaching experience and it shows in his class. It is obvious from his class that he loves what he does and that he genuinely cares about those taking his class and wants them to learn and benefit from it. He was very patient and helpful with the class, answering every question and taking the time to cover any issue that anyone seemed to be struggling with. Though he has years of experience, his demeanor and methods are able to make everyone, from the completley inexperienced beginner to the experienced shooter, comfortable and at ease. I came away from the class being much more comfortable in my knowledge and ability regarding handguns. I would highly recommend Gary's class to anyone who is considering a handgun safety course.

Rev. Rusty Hills
Portland, TN


I am completely new to the handgun arena, but with things happening in the world today as they are, I recently decided to purchase not only a handgun, but also a TN Carry Permit.  I signed up for Gary Carrier's Class at Target Pro Firearms Training in Gallatin.  I was both excited and hesitant about the class, being a novice.  From the moment Gary opened the door, and welcomed us into the classroom, I was totally at ease.  It only took a minute to realize that Gary is a God Called minister at heart, with a special gift of teaching.  

He engaged each student throughout the classroom training, and offered them seasoned advice and training on their particular gun model.  He took the time to explain details that each of us would need to not only pass the class, but to exceed in the class, and even more importantly, to be safe and well trained gun owners after we left the class.  He stopped and answered everyone's questions as they came up, and was never in the slightest bothered or rushed by them.  He made sure that each of us also knew how to clean our guns as well as handle them.  He offered hands-on tips for us down in the shooting range to help each of us with our accuracy.  He was a fabulous instructor.  

And, I feel that I had gained a true friend by the time the class was over.  I highly recommend Gary and Target Pro Firearms for anyone interested in owning a gun or a carry permit.

Kerry Springer
Hendersonville, TN


Gary Carrier at Target-Pro Training Academy must be one of the most influential persons I’ve ever met. I found his program online when I searched for handgun training near Gallatin, TN.  I must have read his web site 3 or 4 times before I decided to give him a call, and I was glad I did.  When I talked with Mr. Carrier he asked me why I would want a private session instead of a classroom environment, and my response was that I would learn more one on one. He spoke with me over the phone, only once.  Mr. Carrier then invited me to his home for the lesson. From the beginning he was trustworthy, a quality rarely found these days. I found Mr. Carrier to be very informal when it came time for the lesson. He walked me through the basic pistol course ever so carefully, pausing to answer every one of my questions. Granted, I did have a private session, but I'm sure a classroom wouldn’t be any different. Growing up around rifles and shotguns, I was not familiar with pistols. Like a duck takes to water, this gentleman calmly and effortlessly took me under his wing to make sure I understood each step. Many times now-a-days people are always in a hurry; rushing to the store, rushing to the mall, no one wanting to take the time to pause and collect themselves and understand what’s going on around them. My personal experience with this great man was the exact opposite. I know I asked the same question many times over and he always answered it the same way he did before. He was very in depth in taking me through the process of pistol training. And why wouldn't he be? He couldn't stress safety enough. Even with many firearms near me, I felt safe and secure. I did however flinch some when he racked the slide. Of the pistols that I shot that day, I’ve decided on a Sig Sauer .40. I connected with Mr. Carrier not only on a student/teacher level, but on a father/son level as well. He is such a caring and spiritual man, demanding the best from himself to be sure that his students understand what he is teaching. I learned so much from this man that day, not just about pistol safety, but some lessons on life too. It is my belief that those persons that want access to some of the best training available, to contact Mr. Carrier. Mr. Carrier has my utmost respect, and I definitely look forward to doing additional training with him in the near future.

As a token of thanks, here is a quote that I enjoy: “I look up in the night sky in search of God and I see nothing. But I look inside myself and He is there.”

I am not the Christian I should be, but what little time I spent with you I felt as though I could be. Sure I've remained abstinent, but to lead the full Christian life is harder than it looks. I come in contact with sin everyday. And it’s difficult at times. You are an incredible person, filled with knowledge and praise. I could learn so much from someone like you. You may have gained another student that day, but I gained a mentor, and a friend.  

David F. Bates
Gallatin, TN


I just wanted to write and let you know what an outstanding job you did instructing us. Your teaching techniques were just what I was hoping for. You made sure from the start of the class what our level of knowledge was and then tailored your instruction to meet our needs as well as the course. You made sure both my wife and I were understanding the material and if not, you slowed the pace. Considering that this was the first time my wife had ever shot a gun your instruction made her feel comfortable and more important she enjoyed the experieince. Thanks again.

Dana & Trish Place
Cottontown, TN



Most of us have guns. They are useful tools for self defense and putting food on the table. Just attending a school to attain the class room credits for your carrying permit should not be the deciding action that drives you to take a professional NRA sanctioned training.

Just like, having a pistol no more makes you a marksman than driving a Monte Carlo makes you Jeff Gordon or Dale Earnhardt Jr.. At some point many of us who are really serious about safety and preparedness think about taking a class in weapons handling. It can be confusing trying to decide who totrain with, what kind of class to take, what gear do I need, how much will it cost? Finally, what will you learn at shooting school?

This depends greatly on the instructor and a course outline that includes marksmanship fundamentals like stance, sight picture and trigger compression/reset. Next on the list typically is weapons manipulation skills including malfunction clearance, presentation to target, weapons transition drills and reloading safely. This is a building block approach; first you learn to hit what you are shooting at, then how to deal with problems with the weapon.

You need a conscientious knowledgeable trainer with lifelong experience.  If you have never had any training I would suggest you attend a basic course in firearms terminology and safety and that is a good place to start. I found this course with Garry Carrier and I am very satisfied with the results.

Mike Abbot
Hendersonville, TN


We learned not only the basics we needed to get our handgun carry permit, we also learned about potential legal repercussions of deploying a weapon, proper stance and how to hold your weapon to increase accuracy, maintaining a weapon, and much, much more. Well worth our time and money!

Jason & Maria Stewart
Hendersoville, TN


This is for any one who may be thinking about taking a Hand Gun Safety Course.

I attended Target-Pro Firearms Training Academy’s class. For the dollars paid I feel you received a great amount of information.  Gary Carrier is very knowledgeable of hand guns and their safety. Even with his great knowledge he does not try to intimidate anyone. He will stop and take questions and will not stop until the one asking has a full understanding of the question. The class covers a great deal of information. It is covered in such a way that you can understand it and know what the requirements are, not only for the state, but how to be safe with any gun. When you get to the firing range, again safety is of the most utmost importance and is strictly adhered to. He helps you to understand how to shoot and makes you feel comfortable with shooting.  

I feel if you are looking for Hand Gun Safety Class, you would be very much encouraged to check out Target-Pro Firearms Training Academy and Gary. I am telling all my friends and relatives to give Gary a call and would encourage you to do the same.

Roy Gambrell
Cottontown, TN


I did not grow up around guns and had never fired a handgun before. After a lot of thought and consideration I decided to get a handgun for personal and home protection. This was a major decision for me, not something I just woke up one day up and decided to do. But first I needed instruction in the safe handling and operation of handguns. In looking at several companies offering training I came to the Target-Pro site. Everything I read on the site made really good sense to me. Also, having absolutely no experience at all, I thought that the one on one private training would be just right for me. I was right!  I instantly felt comfortable around Gary. His training techniques are great and I could tell that he took a genuine interest in my safety and making sure that I was getting what I needed from the class. Then, when we got to the range there was an unexpected surprise. This is fun! I have found a new hobby and can't wait to get back out and shoot. I thought I was a pretty good shot for never having fired a handgun. I continued to improve with the help of Gary's constructive advice. This has been a great experience for me. I am looking forward to learning more.  I don't know what gun to buy yet,  but I do know that I will depend on Gary for further instruction and advice.

Charles Lewis
Lebanon, TN


The information presented in Gary’s class is practical and presented in an interesting format for all experience levels. He adjusted his message to meet the students at their level of understanding. Neither Jill or her friend felt put down or left out. Gary’s answered every question thoroughly until the person understood the topic.  Gary is focused on teaching responsible and safe gun ownership. His lessons are based on many years of experience as a hunter, instructor and competitive shooter. I grew up around guns and thought I was taking the class just to get the certificate but I really did learn a lot.  

Take the class you won’t be disappointed!

Kirk & Jill Ward
Hendersonville, TN


I recently attended Target-Pro Firearms Training Academy.  The instructor/owner is Gary Carrier and it was a class I wish I would have taken years ago.   I have always wanted to take a gun safety class and was delighted to not only learn as much as I did in the class but to really enjoy each portion of the class.  We spent several hours in the class room where we covered everything from the parts of a firearm to the law surrounding the proper use and transportation of a fire arm.  Gary Carrier is an excellent teacher and always made time for questions (which I had a lot of).  The class was small which really lended it self well to the Q&A moments.  The actual firing range was not only a lot of fun, it was safe and each student had ample time with Gary one on one.  It is clear that Gary is an expert in his field and wants each participant to go away understanding all aspects of firearm law and safety as well as enjoy being a gun owner.r.  I would recommend his class to anyone!

David Ask
Hendersonville, TN


I first of all want to thank you for making me feel at ease the moment I walked in the class. I was a little apprehensive but I knew this was something I needed to do. Your approach to the class and easy going attitude made me comfortable. I gained more knowledge than I expected and am grateful to you for that. I really enjoyed the small class size and your willingness to make sure everyone was on the same page regardless of our knowledge or experience. I will highly recommend your class to those I know! I must say you boosted my confidence level and now I am not intimidated by guns! Thanks also for your help during the shootingportion of class. I was extremely nervous as you well know, but your calm demeanor and patience helped me relax.

I greatly appreciate what you did to make me figure out my errors and the time you took with me. I am now ready to go practice and I will remember all of your tips. I would recommend his class to anyone!

Thanks again and God Bless!

Karla Hurst
Hendersonville, TN


I received a handgun as a gift and was completely clueless as to all aspects of it.  I immediately started looking into classes/instructors.  When I saw Target Pro's sign and checked out their website, I knew it was the right place to go.  I wasn't wrong.  I can't talk highly enough about Gary and his teaching methods, and the amount of information and instruction he gives.  I took the private class and it surpassed my expectations.  I was quite apprehensive when I arrived, but by the time class was over and we went to the range and started shooting, I didn't want to leave.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and wanted to put into practice everything Gary taught.  When the day was over, I had an overall understanding of a handgun and the responsibility that comes with owning one.  And Gary also has a great deal of patience.

Andrea Bourgeios
Hendersonville, TN


First, I want to thank you for being the type of person you are. You love God, your family, your friends, and your country. I also think you are very perceptive. You take everything in and can size up a person's character easily. You're also a kind person.

I think this is why your class is doing so well. The day I was there, I could see how you had the respect and attention from people like me who have only shot a gun once or twice to people with a lot more experience. You don't have to be loud and intimidating-you simply project an air of patience and professionalism. I think by the time class was finished, we all felt like old friends. I loved actually being in the firing range. All I had to do was remember what you taught us in class and my aim improved! It was also nice how you took smaller groups in the range at one time so you could see how we were shooting. You could check for posture problems, incorrect grip, stances, etc. This also helped me realize that it takes skill and practice to become an accurate shooter. After I finished the range (practical portion) of the class, I realized I discovered a new hobby.

Your class helped me realize what an awesome and humbling responsibility owning and using a firearm entails. Your affiliation with and backing by the NRA is no surprise. Your class embodies what the NRA stands for-responsible and law abiding gun ownership and use. I didn't actually realize the amount of information you gave us until after class I started researching guns to buy. While doing so, I found that I understood the "gun terminology" that before would have seemed like a different language. I believe this has to do with the way you teach in a building block way. It made sense to me. Thank you!

Hendersonville, TN


Gary was an excellent instructor and made all of us feel right at home.   

Gary had extensive knowledge of firearms and showed a love an dedication to firearm safety.  I would recommend Gary's class to anybody wanting to learn about firearms and firearm safety weather you are a beginner or an avid shooter.  Once again thank you very much and thanks for making your class both educational and entertaining.  God Bless!

Sean Wrobel
Lebannon, TN


Thanks for the Handgun class; it provided increased awareness of handgun safety, responsibilities of a handgun owner, and the proper application of shooting and cleaning a handgun. Although you stated that you are not a patient person, you took the time to insure all questions where answered and that the person fully understood the answer.



Jon Zeiller
Hendersonville, TN


Thank you very much for the kind and understanding way you taught the handgun class.

Growing up I had been “around” guns, but did not know anything about them.  All the information given in the class was new to me.  I tried to listen well and asked questions and I did pass the test!  Thank you again for your expertise in information and teaching.

Karen Zeiller
Hendersonville, TN


The Basic Pistol class was educational and fun.  It was well suited to the unexperienced as well as seasoned veterans.  The training was hands-on and covered everything from types of guns to cleaning to form.  The class participation made it feel more like hanging out with your buddies than sitting in a classroom, while imparting all of the information necessary to pass the test.  Gary did not make me feel like my questions were stupid although I am sure they were very basic.  I would recommend this class to any of my friends, and my daughters.

Sue Decareaux
Lebanon, TN

"The Basic

“5 stars. My father and I took Gary Carrier’s Basic Pistol Course. We had a great day – the class was very informative and Gary did a great job explaining and making sure we understood the topics. On the range, Gary was very patient and helpful – especially with me, I had never shot a gun before. I feel much more comfortable with my gun and am looking forward to hitting the range again! I would recommend Gary’s class to anyone.”

Angela Foglesong
White House, TN


Just a note to let you know how much I enjoyed your Handgun Safety Course.  Growing up I was taught, both at home and in Scouting, the proper handling of guns.  I viewed this class as nothing more than compliance with government bureaucracy.  One more obstacle on the road to exercise a constitutional right.

With that said, I enjoyed the class and learned from it.  I’d recommend this class to anyone who owns a handgun, whether they plan to get a carry permit or not.   It just makes good sense to know this stuff and I plan to enroll my 14 year old son as soon as possible. 

Even for people who know all the mechanics and safety rules of firearms handling, this class is invaluable.  Your candid and personal approach to real world issues of carrying firearms should alter the attitude of anybody who swaggers into the class, wanting to be the next citizen superhero.

I believe I left your class a better shooter and a more responsible gun owner.

Bill Puryear
Gallatin, TN

Pistol class