Gatesville: CHL Instructor Let Students Take Shortcuts, Investigator Says

A Gatesville concealed handgun license instructor accused of certifying some students who didn’t complete the required 10 hours of instruction was free on bond Tuesday.

Adam Stephen Fitzer (Jail photo)

GATESVILLE (July 8, 2013)--Gatesville concealed handgun license instructor Adam Stephen Fitzer, 40, remained free on bond Tuesday 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 Monday.

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.

One of those students later told the investigator she “became suspicious” because she only received 2-and-a-half hours of classroom instruction and never went to the gun range, the affidavit said.

She said she retook the course under another instructor, the affidavit said.

In another instance, Hicks told a DPS investigator, two men received training certificates “without ever completing classroom or range instruction,” the affidavit said.

The investigator also determined that Fitzer, who has been a CHL instructor since July 1, 2011, has never filed required paperwork with the Department of Public Safety, the affidavit said.

In a statement, 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."

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