About Us

Commence Firearms Training Academy, LLC was founded by Keith & Cynthia Campbell in 2004 when Ohio passed the law permitting civilians to obtain Concealed Handgun Licenses (CHL) to protect themselves.

US-Coast-Guard-LogoAt that time Keith was still an active member and Firearms Instructor with the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve.  Additionally as avid firearms owners, shooters, 2nd Amendment supporters and NRA members both Keith and Cindy believed opening a firearms training academy to help others obtain their CHL would be a fun activity for their past time.  They soon realized it would not just be something to do in their spare time.  Commence Fire has grown leaps and bounds since 2004.

After months of preparation to ensure everything was being done properly Commence Fire held their first CHL class in September of 2004.  Back then they used VFW Halls, Hotel Conference Rooms, and other small venues for the classroom portion of the class.  Keith’s father Ron, and brothers Kevin and Brian helped as needed in the beginning, but soon Keith was using other USCG and OPOTA Firearms instructors to help out due to the size of the classes.  We now have our own dedicated training facility.

graysWe have always used historical Grays Armory for the range portion of the training.  Grays Armory has been extremely accommodating and Commence Fire greatly appreciates the working relationship they have with them.

In 2005 Keith and Cindy decided to start attending local gun shows to get the Commence Fire name out there and to put a face to the company.  They soon found out there was quite a bit of interest from individuals that wanted to obtain their CHL.  The gun shows provided an opportunity for interested people to talk directly with those providing the service.  Commence Fire grew so rapidly that Keith and Cindy leased office space for the classroom portion of the training.

At this same time Keith realized that there were other holes in firearms training in the greater Cleveland area.  Commence Fire expanded their offerings with Basic & Advanced Handgun, Shotgun & Rifle, Mindset, Holstering, and One on One Training (Shoot with an Instructor).  Commence Fire had become the “monster” every business owner hopes their business will become!

Due to the added classes and increased schedule Keith decided it was time to bring on additional instructors.  Every Commence Fire instructor has been vetted and put through their paces.  Every instructor must complete an extensive apprentice program, which normally takes a full year.  They do not have the privilege to wear the well known “Red Commence Fire Instructor Shirt” until they have proven themselves to be a firearms instructor to the high standards required by Commence Fire.

Please understand that many individuals attend a class and receive a “Firearms Instructor Certificate,” but they have no idea what they are doing.  We are proud to say that we have some of the finest firearms instructors available in the greater Cleveland area.  Our instructors are not just employees to us.  They are extended family.  We are extremely fortunate to have them on the Commence Fire team!

We are extremely proud of the fact that we are entering our 14th year and have safely trained well over 16,000 individuals with handguns, shotguns and rifles.  We have LOVED every minute of it!  It has been an unbelievable opportunity and an absolute privilege to not only train, but become friends with so many great people.  We honestly look forward to every class.

Many in business lose sight of what it’s all about.  We here at Commence Fire are truly fortunate that YOU desire what we offer.  We hope we are the service providers you are looking for.  Please feel free to show up at any training course we offer.  Spend some time observing the service we provide, who we are, and how we treat YOU the customer.   You will see we are who we say we are.  We guarantee it!

Thank you very much for your interest in our training academy.

Take care and stay safe.

Our Instructors are OPOTA, NRA, USCCA and/or Military Certified: All are highly trained, professional and have years of experience.