MN Firearms Safety - Chaska and Mound

As certified instructors of the MN DNR firearms and hunter safety program, we provide an exciting and fun, hands-on classroom experience that will be remembered for a lifetime by each student.

The purpose of Minnesota’s Firearms Safety Hunter Education Course

As instructors, our goals are many and are based upon the expectations of our students.  We provide the basics of safe and responsible handling of firearms and hunter’s etiquette and ethics to our students.  Each student completing this course takes on the obligation to practice and perfect what they have learned.

Through participation in group settings, discussion of real life examples, and guidance of extensive hands-on learning in the proper handling of firearms students learn the basics of responsible and ethical firearm use.  We emphasize the importance of laws and regulations, as well as the wise use of natural resources in wildlife management to enhance the future of hunting and shooting sports.  And throughout the course, each student should realize that hunting and firearms related accidents generally are the result of carelessness, as well as obtain a better understanding of their obligations to the natural resources, landowners, hunters, non-hunters, and themselves.

The Instructors

Don Booth-Administrator/Story Teller

Bob Parrack-Instructor Emeritus

While both Bob and Don would love to say they became instructors because of their love of firearms and hunting, that is not quite true  A long time ago now, Bob and Don became Certified MN DNR Firearms Safety Instructors for a very selfish reason; we couldn’t find a firearms safety class to enroll our kids into, so both of us underwent the certification process to become instructors.  Although never discussed in great detail, both of us knew the intent was to make sure our kids went through the class and then the future was unclear.

At the completion of the 2008 Chaska class, Bob and Don had a discussion at the end of the class that the youngest of their children completed; it was short and to the point and went something like this.

“So, we got them all through the class, do we do another class next year?”
“Absolutely.”  End of discussion.

Since then, Bob and Don have recruited additional instructors who bring youth and technical skills to our class setting. (Of course, that is not implying that either of them are old or lack any type of skill!)

Beginning in 2017, Bob has retired, but will be available periodically to help the class.

Ricky Booth-Senior Instructor-Ricky began as a Student Instructor at an early age of 15 and assisted Bob and Don by running videos and generally being available for any assistance they needed.  Upon turning 18, Ricky immediately became certified and has taken on an extensive part of classroom instruction.  Ricky recently received a ten year recognition from the DNR as an Instructor.  Ricky also is the primary instructor at the Mound class.

Adam Eickhoff- Instructor-Adam is a former student of our class. He and Ricky have been friends for many years, so it was only natural that Adam join in as a Certified Instructor.  Adam joined our group at the start of the 2017 season and will be a regular instructor at the Chaska class, and for Range Day for both the Chaska and Mound classes.

Kal Booth-Forkhorn Instructor- Kal became a Certified Instructor recently and will be helping out at the Chaska class and part of the Mound Class.  On Range Days, Kal will be found at the shotgun range working with students on trap shooting.

Andrew Kelzer- Instructor-Andrew joined the team in 2018 and brings with him extensive knowledge of firearms and the course, after spending years providing safe handling instruction in other areas.  Andrew will be a regular at the Chaska class and all Range Days.

The Course

Our course is administered by the Minnesota DNR and is intended to educate students on the safe and responsible handling of firearms.  Our primary focus is for each student to learn the skills to be safe and responsible when handling firearms and to understand the proper behavior that will promote a positive hunter image.  Upon successful completion of the course, students are certified by the MN DNR.  Certification gives the student the privilege to legally game hunt.

Our course is a basic introduction in the proper handling of firearms and understanding of hunting etiquette and hunting laws.  Parents are encouraged to continue their child’s development of the safe and responsible skills, knowledge, and attitudes discussed and taught in this course.

Firearms Safety or Hunters’ Safety

The MN DNR firearms safety course is designed to teach safe and responsible handling and use of firearms, as well as discussing acceptable hunter etiquette, ethics and safety.  Our course concentrates heavily on the safe and conscientious use of firearms because we realize that not all students have a desire to hunt, but want to have the knowledge of how to properly use firearms.  As well, being aware of the principles of wildlife management, responsible hunting methods, hunting laws, and personal safety in the field are important to both hunters and non-hunters. (See page 3 of the Student Manual.)

Working with the students in a fun and challenging classroom setting, we promote hands on instruction of the correct use of firearms by providing many different styles of firearms in each class.  Part of every class is reserved so that students can practice safe handling a real firearm, as well as being able to locate the many important parts of a firearm.


mnfas_banneradThe Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conducted its first Firearms Safety Class in 1955 in response to many hunting accidents and fatalities.  Over the next two years, almost 14,000 students became certified.  Today, it is typical to have in excess of 20,000 students certified annually.

In the earlier years, students age 12 through 15 years old were required to have a firearms safety certificate to purchase a big game license.  In 1990, the law was changed and required anyone born after December 31, 1979 to successfully complete a firearms safety course to purchase any hunting license within Minnesota.

The MN DNR trains and certifies volunteer instructors throughout the state, so that all wishing to take the firearms safety course have an opportunity to do so.  Instructors are required to meet certain background checks and maintain a high degree of professionalism promoting and teaching the course.

The firearms safety program administered by the MN DNR, Department of Enforcement, and has been recognized as a premier instructional course by just about every other state in the country.  In most states your firearms safety certification through the MN DNR program will be adequate to obtain a hunting license.

Project ChildSafe


We focus not only on the use and handling of firearms in a safe manner, but also make sure our students realize that correct storage of firearms is an important aspect of firearms safety.  We promote proper storage of both firearms and ammunition during the classroom.  Both the Chaska Police Department and the Carver County Sheriff’s Department are participating law enforcement agencies with Project ChildSafe, a nationwide program that helps ensure safe and responsible firearm ownership and storage.  [Project ChildSafe.org]  We endeavor to provide each student with one or more gun locks donated to our class through these two law enforcement agencies, but rely on availability of gun locks.

Becoming Certified

Certification for a student is based upon attendance/tardiness of the class times, completing all homework, passing the written test, passing the range day test and finally, demonstrating to the instructors safe and responsible use of firearms at all times.

Why Choose Us

There are numerous Firearms Safety Classes held in the surrounding area, so why should anyone choose our class over any other class.  Here are the top 10 reasons why anyone should attend our class.

10.  Easy registration

No standing in line and hoping that you can get into the class.  For our class, you pre-register and then stop by at your leisure on Registration night.

9.  A group of instructors who realize not everyone was born with a firearm in their hands

Whether you have experience handling firearms or not, we dedicate our instruction time on an individual basis to ensure each of our students receives the time and assistance needed to understand the basics of safe and responsible handling of firearms.

8.  Extensive hands on practice with real firearms

Our students learn the basic parts of rifles and shotguns by working with our collection of personal firearms instead of a gun shaped piece of wood or by pictures of a rifle or shotgun.

7.  Technology

Videos, PowerPoint presentations and a whole host of other "today's methods" are brought to the classroom by the younger side of our instructors, so students can see the do’s and don’ts of handling firearms and hunter responsibilities.

6.  Lots of real rifles and shotguns

Every class period includes the wide-ranging collection of our personal firearms being available for each student to reference and handle, so learning is always hands on.

5.  Fun, exciting classroom setting

Our class is not the type where you come and take a seat, sit through the entire evening and then go home.  Even during times where you sit with your group, the instructors make sure to present topics that are interesting, educational, and relevant to the class in an exciting, interactive manner that makes the class time fly by.

4.  Interacting Instructors

Instructors that roam around the classroom, provide real life examples, have students tell family stories, and facilitate small group participation allows each student be involved, not only in the learning, but also in the teaching of the class.

3.  Extraordinary Range Day

In addition to the activities required for the Range Test, students have the extra advantage to shoot at clay pigeons with shotguns, shoot the open sighted and scoped rifles of various big bore calibers used in the classroom, and take a chance at hitting a target with black powder rifle.

2.  Hands on, hands on, hands on

Let’s stress this point again.  Class times always include students handling the rifles and shotguns in the class; not gun shaped pieces of wood.  Students learn the different styles of actions, safety mechanisms, and sights by touching and operating real firearms.

1.  The Instructors.

We know standing in front of a group and verbally presenting information does not give the instruction needed for our students to succeed.  We make sure to have a fun classroom setting, be entertaining in our presentations, include student participation in the class, encourage extensive handling of our rifles and shotguns, and respect each and every student.