More than six months have passed since Bend resident Ryan Fraker started his firearm instruction business.
But recent events across the country have sparked wider interest from Central Oregon residents in Fraker’s business, Hot Brass Firearms Training.
On Dec. 14, a gunman killed 27 people — 20 of them children — at a Connecticut elementary school. Widespread shock and grief were replaced by record-setting sales of guns and rifles to citizens concerned for their safety.
Fraker said he’s fielded more than twice the number of calls he normally does since the Connecticut shooting. The incident has also generated calls to Fraker from potential clients he rarely heard from in the early days of his business: local companies looking to increase their security capabilities, even local churches.
Fraker is a state-certified law enforcement instructor, as well as a competitive shooter. He charges $50 per person for groups of at least six people, helping them load, draw, aim and fire weapons safely and accurately.
The business is mobile: Fraker travels to clients’ homes or businesses to conduct the classes. They are a bit more expensive than a typical firearms training class, Fraker said. But in return, clients get a four-hour lesson in a comfortable environment, where all their questions can be answered.
“I host classes in people’s homes. That way you’re with a group of friends or family, and people can feel more comfortable asking questions,” Fraker said.
The shooting aspect of the lessons are done at one of a number of local shooting ranges, of course. But Fraker said learning every aspect of handling a weapon is critical to know before ever pulling the trigger.
“Before people walk around with a handgun, they ought to know what they’re doing. There’s an extremely high level of responsibility involved,” Fraker said. “My business is about people knowing what they ought to know so they can be ready to protect themselves and others.”
Q: How do your firearm instruction classes differ?
A: My whole business is about keeping it small. I’m a one-man operation, and I start at square one with my clients. If you go to a class that a store puts on, you’re sitting there for four hours with 20 people you don’t know. So I came up with the idea of doing it in people’s homes. I also incorporate a lot of scenario-based training.
Q: Where do you see the business going?
A: I think the amount of people out there that want to learn to be responsible gun owners is growing ... I would say about one-third of the people who take my class are people who are very unfamiliar with firearms. I’m seeing more diverse people taking my classes, businesses saying, “I want my employees to be prepared.” So I think people see the benefit of having a service like this.