Adam Stephen Fitzer (Jail photo)
GATESVILLE (July 11, 2013) -- Following the arrest of Gatesville concealed handgun license instructor Adam Stephen Fitzer, 40, the Texas Department of Public Safety is now saying some of the concealed handgun licenses obtained by his former students could be in jeopardy.
Fitzer remains free on bond after he was charged with tampering with a governmental record in connection with what an investigator says was the falsification of certificates of training for students who didn’t complete the required 10 hours of instruction.
Fitzer was arrested on June 27 after an investigation by the Department of Public Safety that started with a tip from a Gatesville gun range owner who said students were being certified without completing the required instruction including proficiency training at the range, according to an arrest warrant affidavit released
Hicksville Gun Range owner J.D. Hicks told the investigator he requires everyone who shoots at the range to sign a liability release, but in two instances training certificates were completed indicating that full proficiency instruction was conducted for students for whom Hicks has no records, the affidavit said.
If Fitzer is convicted, some of the CHLs obtained by his former students could be revoked, the Texas Department of Public Safety said Thursday.
“Falsifying information is very serious, especially when it comes to concealed handgun licenses,” Trooper D.L. Wilson said.
Fitzer has been an instructor since 2011.
It's unclear how many CHLs obtained by his students would be audited if he's convicted.
“In instances like this, we hope that not all classes are affected, but it could possibly come down to that,” Wilson said.
The Texas Department of Public Safety says the license of anyone who obtained a CHL through Fitzer’s course will remain valid pending the outcome of the case.
The DPS said that if any of Fitzer’s former students want to retake a CHL course they can, but would have to pay for all the required fees over again.
In a statement Monday, Coryell County District Attorney Dusty Boyd said CHL instructors are charged with “a duty to ensure that citizens participating in the course receive proper training and supervision as required under the law”
“Those who fail to do so,” he said, “place the students, and the public at large, in potentially dangerous and deadly situations. Those individuals who attempt to undermine the training and legal mechanisms in place to ensure adequate instruction will find themselves facing the legal consequences."