Riding Shotgun With Charlie
Jose Morales
Philly Firearms Academy

My familiarity with Jose Morales’ name started years ago. I’ve always been a fan of the Gun For Hire Radio podcast. The main host, Anthony Colandro (RSWC #003 & 025), would often bring up Jose’s name as someone helping with production of the show. Last summer, I was in Detroit for Rick Ector’s (RSWC #032) Ladies Event. As I was introducing myself to the other instructors, I met Jose. I kept running through my mind “how do I know his name?” Then it hit me! Gun For Hire Radio! So I went back up and said I knew his name and finally put it together. Like it is meeting with gun people, it felt like old home week. 

Jose grew up in New York City and said his mother had a gun. At the time he didn’t know how difficult it was to get a gun as times were different. He spent 3 years serving in the Army and ended up in Philadelphia. He’s had a few careers, of course, doing non-gun stuff, until he decided that after taking several friends shooting, maybe it was time to become an instructor. He traveled to western Pennsylvania to take an instructor course. 

He’s done a ton of training since then. He’s an NRA and USCCA Training Counselor in several disciplines, so he’s training the trainers. I don’t like saying someone is a “training junkie”, but he’s trained with many of the best, including Massad Ayoob (RSWC #045), Rob Pincus (RSWC #063), and Tom Givens, among others. Therefore he offers courses at various levels to his clients.

Just like other businesses, Jose had a lot of growing to do. He talks about going from range to range with students and trying to find students. As many people have found out, there are ranges they don’t want you to bring in your clients or they want half of what you charge to use the range. So, Jose ended up needing a dedicated place for training, which ended up being across the street from where the Philadelphia police issued permits! It was hard to get people to come in. He was near the old Colosimo’s Gun Center which had a range he was using. We also cover how often instructors are very territorial with their areas. 

We get into some interesting points about people and their training. While it shouldn’t be a government mandate to require training to get a carry permit, anyone who carries definitely needs training in things like how to carry concealed, when you can use lethal force, and absolutely when you cannot use lethal force. People also need education on what to do in a situation after you’ve used lethal force. 

Jose has a great line saying “everyone wants remedial education not preventative education”, meaning that people take classes after they have an eye opening incident. He will get calls from people saying things like they need an “NRA Basic Pistol or the equivalent” which is code for “I’m reading a paper given to me by the police and lost my license”. We had a really good discussion about this topic. The discussion also led to bringing up the terms that the antis use that we have “adopted” and we fall right in line and use them as if they are legit terms. Yes, words have meanings. 

Jose also shares what it was like to bring an NRA course into a hospital where he had some connections and tried to train and educate people that just because the course says “NRA” doesn’t mean the course is evil and preaching an agenda. It’s all education and people who are unfamiliar or new to firearms may not want to hear about the NRA due to the bad press the NRA gets from the media. 

I’m telling you, gun people are the best people! I met Jose at his home in Philly, he offered me some Tastykakes, and we talked like we were old friends. You don’t get this from everyone, just from gun people. 

Favorite quotes: 
“It’s a hobby that became a career.”
“I’ve always found more success collaborating with instructors.”
“Sharing the love, and dispelling the stereotypes, and bringing people into the fold.”
“We have to use the same tactics. Some of the people that are anti-gun are incessant.”

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Dennis McCurdy

Author, Speaker, Firewalker


Self Defense Radio Network


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