If you rarely have to use your firearms to defend yourself or stave off starvation, then you’re doing pretty well. The trouble, of course, is that you carefully select and curate your arsenal, practice diligently, and enjoy guns.
Guns and, more specifically, gun owners and enthusiasts, have been marginalized to what feels like a new extent, especially with the extra rules about where a concealed carry permit holder can and cannot carry their weapon based on additional stipulations set by business owners and employers. Every day, it seems like another HR department is adding another addendum to their policy and procedure banning guns in the workplace more explicitly. The dilemma then follows- people at such establishments must leave their weapon at home, thus making them unarmed every workday, or lock their guns in their vehicles for the day, which should never be the default choice. So what’s a gun owner to do?
People in this bind are looking for jobs where they can carry in the workplace. Some even have some big intentions of some Jason Bourne-level adrenaline-fueled paid adventures. However, in the 2017 action-comedy Hitman’s Bodyguard (only funny after a few beers), the ex-Interpol private bodyguard played by Ryan Reynolds says it correctly: “Boring is best.”
It’s natural to want to turn a passion into a profession, and it’s certainly possible, but the last thing you want is for your day working on or with guns to become exciting. If you’re craving a thrill in your next job, then working with guns might not be the right option for you. You’d be better served looking into working as a guide for hunting, backpacking, or other outdoor activities that rely on quick thinking to adapt to unpredictable natural elements.
If you still want to work with guns, you’ll find a zen-like level of calm and collection is a requirement for most positions. Even in those high-octane jobs, like active military, law enforcement, or “freelance” work under either category (such as private security), the most fundamental building block of success is knowing how to stop your scene from becoming anything besides the routine you trained for. The days of adrenaline junkie dreams are a nightmare for those on the job. That being said, some careers can be incredibly rewarding both in the work you do with firearms and in the perks they’re able to provide for your own personal hobby and training pursuits.
Here are a few jobs that will fit for you if you want to take on that balance:
- Firearms Instructor
You may be thinking of that basic concealed carry introductory course, the NRA safety courses, or other classes of your early days. That’s fair. Those classes are everywhere, and relatively easy to become certified to teach.
However, I am here to tell you that there are courses that are way more advanced, have more variety, will teach you new things as the instructor, and that could even be fun. In upper-level training, you almost get to play make-believe on the job as you craft scenarios to hit all the training elements and truly prepare yourself and your students for success in the new skillset. Plus, you’ll probably get free or reduced range fees in the facility where you teach. You’ll have more opportunity and knowledge to apply to your own sport by becoming an instructor.
- Range Operations
If you’re just getting started in the career side of firearms, try finding a job at a gun range, whether it’s selling ammunition, targets, and accessories at the front, sweeping up at night, or running the scheduling. You’ll learn a lot as so many fellow shooters come through, and bosses love to teach people who want to learn, especially since it’s good for their business.
Since you’ll be working with armed clientele, you’ll most likely be allowed to wear your own weapon, and you’ll have better access to the range and insider information on courses, shows, events, and more. We already established that “boring is best” with any job involving guns, so the exciting part will be the exposure to a whole new world of opportunities by keeping an ear out on the job.
- Forensic Ballistics
Having spent all this time dissuading people from the idea that one should seek an adrenaline rush while working with guns, I’ll now tell you that this job actually is almostas exciting as they portray it on television. You wouldn’t be working high-profile cases like on most procedural dramas, and everyday work involves much slower machines and more paperwork (and court appearances) than featured on the likes of Bones or NCIS.
However, whenever they say, “Ballistics came back on…” during an episode, that means that a professional took a look at bullets, casings, weapons, and more to help solve a crime. And that’s pretty cool!
- Firearms Engineering
The reward of this job only comes to those who dedicate themselves for the long haul but, with the advancement of technologies like 3D printing, the present is an incredibly exciting time to get involved in designing guns.
Previous smithing work would help in landing the position, as well as a relevant college degree, but firearms engineering is an “old” profession in that many top creators are set to retire, with relatively few waiting to take their place. And what kind of craftsman would you be if you didn’t regularly test your own creations?
Though a gun-centric job might not be the perfect choice for somebody who is continually chasing an adrenaline high, there are many niches where the everyday tasks are nevertheless unbelievably rewarding, even when you make sure to keep it boring.