NRA Carry Guard Expo | Seminars & Workshops

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Sessions range from one-hour informational seminars to in-depth instructional workshops, certification courses, and hands-on training. Check back soon for a complete list of speakers and a full schedule. Sessions are FREE with your show admission unless noted otherwise. Tickets for fee-based sessions will be on sale soon.

Sessions marked with an asterisk (*) have additional fees.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: Self-Defense Techniques*

Speaker: Royce Gracie

Learn first-hand Brazilian Jiu Jitsu self-defense techniques from Mixed Martial Arts legend and Hall of Famer Royce Gracie in this hands-on two-hour training session. Must be 18 years or older. This is a fee-based course; details on how to reserve your spot are coming soon.

In addition, Royce will conduct an autograph session from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Saturday, August 26, which will be open to anyone who has purchased a ticket to the Expo.

Concealed Carry Mindset

Speaker: Jeff Gonzales

As the number of people legally carrying concealed increases each year, more emphasis is necessary on proper mindset. Actively reducing your signature should be your primary goal, blending in with the scenery. This requires an acknowledgment of the complexities as well as avoidance practice to reduce discovery. Conditions such as environment and wardrobe requirements compound the challenges as you create daily practices to reduce your signature. With the proper mindset, the practitioner can blend in, avoid discovery – and, if necessary, position themselves to gain tactical advantages.

Handheld Flashlights: Their Role in Your Personal Defense Plan

Speaker: Jeff Gonzales

From an all-purpose point of view, one of the most versatile items you can carry is a handheld light. Using a handheld light for defensive purposes is possible; using a handheld light for other non-defensive purposes is far more likely. Advances in technology have brought to market many new products, but their benefits can confuse the average consumer. Learning how to carry, deploy – and if necessary, use as an impact weapon – require training and practice. Working with handheld lights effectively requires knowledge on multiple techniques on searching, identifying, and, if necessary, engaging a threat.

All Things Appendix

Speaker: Jeff Gonzales

A new trend in the concealed carry world is appendix carry, but many don’t realize how long this technique has been around. Safety drives everything we do with firearms. When evaluating positions to carry, you need to acknowledge the dangers and steps at mitigating them. The selection of firearm, holster, and belts are slightly more important due to the increased risk of injury or death. Body composition can increase the risk and decrease the advantages for carrying appendix style. Proper training and education are keys to taking advantage as well as reducing your risk of injury or death.

Bullet-Proof Mind for the Armed Citizen*

Speaker: Dave Grossman

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, co-author of Glenn Beck's book Control: Exposing the Truth About Guns and author of the book On Combat and several others, gives his special presentation on mental and physical preparedness for the armed citizen. Grossman will speak about your role as an armed American citizen in the future challenges to our nation. Hear about the potential threats, internal or external, and the response to those threats as intended by our Founding Fathers. Grossman will also discuss how to prevent PTSD and to be physically and emotionally triumphant after an armed encounter.

Current and Emerging Threats: How It Affects You

Speaker: Steve Tarani

How do deteriorating conditions in Syria, active jihadist social media recruitment, cyberattacks, our porous borders, and other current and emerging global threats directly impact your family and your finances? More importantly, what can you do about it? Join ex-CIA personal protection expert Steve Tarani in an eye-opening protective intelligence briefing that will change the very way you look at the world and teach you what you can do right now to protect yourself and your family from today’s unprecedented violence and global threat.

Dynamics of Personal Defense*

Speaker: Steve Tarani

Bad things happen to good people – especially if you’re not prepared. Yes, situational awareness is your best defense, but what if you didn’t hear it, see it, or smell it coming and are faced with very real danger of physical violence? In this light physical activity, hands-on learning workshop, you will be trained in the three critical components needed to control any physical altercation, how to immediately gain the tactical advantage against single or multiple attackers, whether you’re armed or unarmed, and most importantly, how to get yourself and your loved ones out of harm’s way and to safety unharmed. Join ex-CIA personal protection expert Steve Tarani in this easy-to-learn, professional training workshop and gain the skills and confidence you need to defend against a real-world active threat! No previous skills or experience needed – participants must be over 18 years of age.

Making Your Own Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) - A Green Beret Medic Explains What You Need to Survive

Speaker: Travis “Doc T”

Green Beret medic Travis “Doc T” explains why you should carry an individual first aid kit (IFAK) and what materials should be included in this life-saving tool that’s every bit as important for self-defense as your concealed-carry firearm.

An Armed Citizen and How to Interact with Law Enforcement

Speaker: NRA Law Enforcement Staff

You are an armed citizen, a good guy with a gun. What should you do – or not do – when you interact with law enforcement? You must plan ahead for what to expect if a law enforcement officer approaches you on a traffic stop, a street approach, or if you have had to defend yourself. How do you think the officer will react to you in the various situations? Do you know what you should do?

This hour-long block of instruction will provide you with insight into how you should act and react and what to expect. A must-attend for any armed citizen.

Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA/H.R. 218)

Speaker: James Baranowski

This seminar will provide an overview of both sections of the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA/H.R. 218) and break down each element of the statue in order to highlight proper application and enforcement as well as the common misconceptions which surround it. Focus will be directed at the 2010 and 2013 amendments, alleged liability concerns, the statute’s relationship to local and state laws, applicability to unique LEOs, proper qualification standards and documentation, practices to avoid, a review of past and current litigation, and provide an opportunity for Q&A’s.

American Rifleman Ladies Pistol Project: Landmark Study on Women’s Shooting Preferences and Concealed Carry

Speaker: Ann Y. Smith

When it comes to handguns, what do women really want? Which guns fit their hands best? What do NRA Instructors need to know – and what lessons can be learned from female NRA Certified Instructors – when it comes to women and gun selection? American Rifleman’s Ann Y. Smith set out to answer those questions with a project that involved 35 women shooting 18 different guns – many of them touted as “female-friendly.” What did she learn? Attend the special presentation and find out for yourself.

Refuse To Be A Victim

Learn personal safety tips and techniques you need to avoid dangerous situations and prevent becoming a victim of crime.

For Women: Handgun Fit, Function, and Making Educated Decisions

Speakers: Diane Danielson and Debbie Crews

Using a variety of firearms that are the most popular among women today, Debbie Crews and Diane Danielson will provide a seminar on how to fit and use them and discuss the decision-making process. The second half of the session will allow the group to handle the firearms to help decide what will work best for them. It will also allow them to venture with confidence to the show floor to try additional models not represented. 

Methods of Concealed Carry for Women

Speakers: Diane Danielson and Debbie Crews

Using Blue Guns to simulate many of the most popular handguns for women, we will provide a wide variety of holster and carry options, give brief demonstrations of how they are used and allow the ladies hands-on access to each in order to determine which will fit and work best for them.

Drawing from a Holster: Step-by-Step Method and Drills

Speakers: Diane Danielson and Debbie Crews

This seminar will require preregistration via email. It will teach ladies to actually draw and dry fire from an outside the waistband (concealable) holster. We will provide various size holsters, give step-by-step method for draw, aim, fire, assess and re-holster using standard practice drills.

This seminar provides personalized attention and requires preregistration. Please use the subject line CGExpo Holster Seminar, and indicate which date you would like to attend when emailing to register.

The Aging Defender

Speaker: Dr. Joe Logar

As we age, physical challenges are a natural part of the process. These changes must be considered when evaluating your personal defensive plan. This seminar will provide an introduction to tips and techniques than can help you adjust and flourish across your lifespan.

Concealed Carry Safety

Speaker: Klint Macro

Learn the importance of carrying and using a pistol responsibly and ethically for personal protection. Learn how safety rules, special safety considerations, and levels of awareness must be observed and applied when carrying a concealed pistol for personal protection.

The Concealed Carry Lifestyle

Speaker: Klint Macro

If you take on the responsibility to become your family’s first responder, you should do more than simply purchase a firearm. There are more elements to consider when you decide to proactively develop and enhance your own personal defense strategy. This seminar discusses the infrastructure to consider when you decide to adopt a concealed carry lifestyle.

Strategies for Home Safety and Responding to a Violent Confrontation

Speaker: Steve Reed

This seminar will deal with explaining strategies and methods to enhance your personal safety at home and responding to a potentially life-threatening encounter. Topics will include trying to make your home less attractive for criminals (residence, grounds and landscaping, exterior and interior), creating a safe room, developing an emergency plan for responding to a possible break-in, what to do when the police arrive, the emotional and legal aftermath of a violent confrontation, etc.

Personal Protection Strategies and the “Other Tools” of Self-Defense

Speaker: Larry Pope

The Personal Protection Strategies seminar will focus on a holistic view of self-defense and the defensive mindset. Many confrontations are not life-threatening, and understanding that a firearm is a tool of last resort makes it necessary to consider the other tools. We will cover strategies to disengage from an attacker using modern personal protection technology (Pepper Spray, TASER CEW, Personal Alarms, etc.) as part of our personal safety plan. We will discuss the psychology of criminals and steps that we can take to devalue ourselves as a target. The seminar will also address the value of intuition and overcoming functional fixedness, a cognitive bias that limits the use of an item solely for its intended purpose.

We will demonstrate the function of various devices using inert trainers and demo models.

Home Defense with Carbine

Speaker: Nathan Judd

With the ever-growing popularity of the AR platform rifle, it has become one of the most popular firearms for home defense. This seminar will cover the use of the AR for home defense and the options you have in the home to make this an effective and efficient method of protection.

Wisconsin CCW Course*

Instructor: Scott Scheife

Utah CCW Course*

Instructor: Dave Matthews

This class, known as the Utah Weapon Familiarity Certification, will provide you with the minimum training required to obtain your Concealed Firearm Permit (CFP) from the State of Utah. The course is a maximum of 4 hours and is objective-based. There is no range time, no written test, and you are not required to perform a firearm handling test. You will be provided with an application and a copy of the Utah Concealed Firearm Permit Manual. You will only need to bring a pen or pencil, all of your questions, and an outstanding attitude.

Concealed Carry: Skills Beyond the Gun

Speaker: John Murphy

This one-hour seminar will address the spectrum of issues surrounding responsible concealed carry and identify training goals and pathways to ensure and informed decisions beyond the gun.

  • Questions to ask yourself
  • The four environments
  • Plans and procedures
  • Everyday learning opportunities

Draw Time!
The Science of the Draw & What’s Fast or Fast Enough?

Speaker: Wade Shambaugh

Firearm accessibility and draw time are often discussed in the defensive world of training. Have you considered the actual time it takes to properly access and draw and fire from a variety of concealed carry positions? In this session, we'll take a deep, interactive, and scientific look at a variety of concealed carry approaches and how real times equate to your ability to access a concealed carry firearm. We’ll also examine and link the time it takes to access our firearm to the time it takes attackers to do what they do. After this session, you’ll likely never again look at your conceal carry draw time the same way.

New to Concealed Carry?
A Real-Life Look at What Life Is Like When You’re Carrying

Speaker: Wade Shambaugh

Are you new to carrying a handgun or are you considering carrying a handgun? If so, this may be the absolute best course you could ever attend. In this simple session, we’ll go over the the important decisions you’ll need to make to carry responsibly and be safe with your handgun in the real world. We’ll also review what a day in the life looks like for the responsible concealed carry citizen, from the time you put your gun on in the morning until you take it off in the evening. We’ll focus on safety, the need for training, scenarios, and judgement required for everyday life with a concealed handgun.

Response to an Active Shooter: Considerations for the Armed Citizen

Speaker: Jeff Smidt

This session will cover:

  • What is an active shooter? How and why do they select venues?
  • What is an appropriate civilian response to an active shooter situation?
  • What do you need to consider if you are armed?
  • What do you need to consider if you do engage in an armed intervention with an active shooter?
  • What do you need to consider after engaging in an armed intervention with an active shooter?
  • How does location affect your response?

NRA Trainers’ Update

Speaker: NRA Education & Training Division Staff

Acquire solid firsthand information regarding NRA Training.  There will be presentations by John Howard, National Manager, NRA Training Department, and Dr. Joseph Logar, National Manager, Adaptive Shooting Programs, as well as others.

Perfecting Practice On the Range and at Home (Dry-fire and Holster Training)*

Speaker: Chip Eberhart

Learn effective dry-fire and live fire practice techniques. Students will be able to recognize, discuss, evaluate and assist with overcoming common pistol shooting deficiencies such as anticipating, milking, jerking the trigger, and poor trigger control techniques. Students will learn the most efficient method of drawing a concealed firearm from a holster or woman’s purse. This class is an excerpt of the POST (Police Officers Standard Training) course that Mr. Eberhart teaches to law enforcement officers and instructors.

Lessons Learned From Analyzing Thousands of Defensive Encounters Caught on Video

Speaker: John Correia

This seminar will distill thousands of gunfights and other defensive encounters caught on surveillance video for the most significant attitude, skills, and plan that self-defenders need to focus on to prevail in a defensive encounter.

Surviving an Armed Robbery: An Evidence-Based Approach

Speaker: John Correia

This seminar will look at the common factors in armed robberies and consider evidence-based strategies to prevail if caught in one.

Attention! Real Life defensive encounters caught on video that may be graphic. Viewer discretion is advised when considering attending this seminar.

The Most Important Skills You WILL Need in a Gunfight

Speaker: John Correia

This seminar uses information gleaned from thousands of gunfights caught on video to look for the skills and plan MOST necessary for the average CCW holder to prevail in a real gunfight.

Attention! Real Life defensive encounters caught on video that may be graphic. Viewer discretion is advised when considering attending this seminar.

NRA-ILA Second Amendment Legislative Update

Speaker: NRA-ILA Staff

Join NRA-ILA staff for an in-depth briefing on legislation affecting your Second Amendment rights both here in Wisconsin as well as in Congress.  Learn what programs and actions are available for you to become a more active defender of our gun rights and empower others to join in the defense of our freedom.  This event, and all associated materials, is FREE.

Daylong Carry

Speaker: Tom Marx

Your environment, your activities and the weather you’re in, may change many times throughout the day but does your method for carrying a firearm concealed accommodate such differences?

In the course of an hour, we’ll look at guns, holsters, carrying devices, and concepts that might meet some of your needs in 24 hours, while perhaps failing miserably in dealing with others.

From how you get to and from work; to how you carry at work; to how you eat and entertain, to how you shop, travel, vacation, and simply interact with others, we’ll look at the bigger and more all-encompassing picture that’s often missed when one thinks of carrying concealed.

While selecting the right tool for the right job is important, if the task transforms or the situation changes, your equipment must often be accepting of its new role as you adjust to things yourself.

Myths, Movies, and Misinformation

Speaker: Tom Marx

Gun and holster ads might look exciting, but successfully selecting a holster for concealed carry takes more than just a whim. Too many people see an advertisement, a film character, or a friend wearing a holster or carrying a gun and think that same things will work for them, too. We’ll look at mistakes we all make (and ways of preventing them) and at some fact-based methods and approaches to making such decisions and purchases. Activities, body types, physical condition, types of dress, and external conditions will be considered and reviewed.

Detailed checklists will be presented, and the attendees are welcome to photograph/copy them for future use and reference.

Carrying and Defending Oneself Inside a Vehicle

Speaker: Tom Marx

A two-pronged discussion on the carrying of a handgun inside a vehicle as well as the issues of its production in times of need. We will look at guns, holsters, containers, lockboxes and more.

In addition to what may be carried and how it can be carried, we will also look into how it can be employed and the difficulties encountered into practicing such employment both effectively and, more importantly, safely.

Pistols, revolvers, suppressors, and eye protection are a few of the things we will discuss. There is a lot more to this than merely carrying a gun on your hip and drawing it from a standing position to fire in a typically unencumbered space.

If time allows, we’ll also look at the use of .223 pistols in automobiles as well as the use of shotguns and 5.56 carbines in trailers, mobile homes, and watercraft.

Sighting for Fighting

Speaker: Tom Marx

Are we teaching the right things and using the appropriate gear for the average person in terms of how they will bring the gun they carry for defense to bear successfully upon a deadly force threat they face? Most people have a hard enough time lining up all-black, square-shouldered front and rear sights when they are given enough time to do so, let alone successfully orient three balls (dots) in space when they are hurried at the range or being threatened in real life.

We will look at traditional techniques, forgotten concepts, overlooked options, and the things we use today that might either be overrated or outright wrong for many people and most situations.

Red ramps, black blades, single beads, multiple dots, bars, crosses, X’s and red dot optics will all be examined, as will lasers and fiber-optic front and rear sights when considered along with the issues of ambient and area lighting and the times of day they might be employed. We will also discuss the concepts of front sight focus, how we view movement and threats in our daily lives, and how so little of this takes the average person into consideration.

What You'll Find At The Expo

In addition to the seminars and workshops, you’ll find more than 100 exhibitors on hand in the exhibit hall, plus special events including NRA’s Wall of Guns and product demos.

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Want To Know More

Contact us at 866-343-1805 or email us at

“I Will Never Carry A Gun Without Carrying This.”

- Dana Loesch, Gold NRA Carry Guard Member

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NRA Carry Guard Expo

A 3-day educational and interactive experience dedicated to Individuals interested in increasing their knowledge and skills within personal protection, concealed carry and defense tactics.