FTA is a big table organization. There are many seats at the table. When forming the FTA, the Founders wanted to do what had not been done before. Create an organization for the purposes of professional development, business support, training support, and the creation of an independent source for Professional Liability Coverage for firearms trainers. Historically, firearms training organizations have attempted to practice exclusivity and have been discriminatory against trainers from certain communities. For instance, instructors who did not have law enforcement or military backgrounds may have been treated by those with such backgrounds differently, or even dismissively.
There is room in the FTA for trainers from all backgrounds and experiences. All of the Founders and administrators of the FTA have law enforcement or military backgrounds. But, we also have extensive experience training civilians. Many of these civilians have extensive experience taking high end firearms training as students and therefore have accumulated a wealth of experience. They also may have extensive experience as concealed carriers and carrying a pistol everyday for many years. The FTA exists to protect, support and develop all trainers. As FTA Founder Ken Hackathorn has said numerous times, “There has to be a common connective tissue to get all these folks together in one organization and that is the liability coverage benefit as a member.” The Professional Liability membership benefit is the connective tissue for the FTA. It is in ALL firearms trainers interest to have the profession taken seriously as a profession. To do that, we need an organization that doesn’t take sides, criticize categories of instructors through social media, and does not anoint certain backgrounds of instructors as somehow more qualified than others.
FTA is open for all trainers who have a certification to train. We don’t put greater weight on any certifying body. We were created to meet the needs of all trainers, regardless of certifying body or backgrounds of the instructors. All trainers need an organization that pushes professional development content and services to the trainer to better their business and the quality of their profession. That is the FTA.