NIC offering five-week general gunsmithing course

NIC LogoThe North Idaho College Workforce Training Center is offering a new General Gunsmithing course beginning March 5. Students who complete this three-week AR armorer course will earn a certificate of completion after learning how to diagnose issues and replace faulty or broken gun parts.

“There are a lot of gunsmithing shops around town that need workers,” NIC Executive Director of Workforce and Economic Development Colby Mattila said. “There are also just a lot of people in our area who want to learn how to do this.”

Through hands-on instruction, demonstrations and practical exercises, armorer course students will learn the fundamentals of gun assembly, disassembly, maintenance, and troubleshooting. The new course is the first step in a plan to develop a yearlong gunsmithing program that will train students to become certified gunsmiths.

Dwight Van Horn, a Kootenai County resident and member of the National Rifle Association Board of Directors, said he contacted an NIC board member and talked with NIC President Nick Swayne to see if a gunsmithing program could be brought to NIC.

“Everyone was on board from the get-go,” Van Horn said.

Mattila said Swayne spoke with him in January about a potential program.

“I was asked if this was something we could do and it turned out it was,” Mattila said. “It’s been a short turnaround, but I haven’t seen this much excitement about a program in a while.”

Future courses planned for the gunsmithing program include basic lathe, antique firearms, re-barreling and more.

“We’re happy to be able to put something like this together,” Mattila said. “If there’s enough community interest in something, we’ll find a way to make it happen.”

Students will start the program by learning hand tools and by completion will touch on welding, machining, braising, soldering, working on wood and composite stocks, checkering, and more.

“It sounds fantastic,” Van Horn said.

To register for the AR armorer course, click here. The deadline to apply is March 4. For more information, contact NIC Executive Director of Workforce and Economic Development Colby Mattila at (208) 769-3222.