Courses We Offer or List


Who are we and why select us for training?

Riverside Sporting Gear has teamed with Eagle Mountian Trading Company to bring you high quality fireams training.

Jon Thompson is the owner of Riverside  Sporitng Gear and Brian Cooper is thie owner of Eagle Mountian Trading Company.  We are National Rifle Association (NRA) certified instructors in good standing who have spent years developing our knowledge of firearms and training skills, so we can train you safely and effectively.

Brian and I are active in  the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA).  We shoot year around and have extensive training in competitive and tactical shooting. We will work with you to assure you have the proper knowledge, skills and attitude to safely use a firearm.  Furthermore, quality training comes with constant instructor pracitce actually shooting.  We believe that particiaption in sports like IDPA constantly hones your skills.

As NRA Certified Instructors we offer a full range of courses, but will continue to concentrate on monthly Permit to Carry classes with hands on training, videos and PowerPoints to reinforce class materials.

We also have a low cost class for new shooters who want to learn the basics and be safe with their handguns. Handgun selection is a specialty, get the right gun you!


We offer a beginning and advanced holster class and private classes.

We strongly believe in continuous training and practice. We shoot many different types of firearms and fire thousands of rounds per year.  We are both NRA Chief Range Safety Officers, and are NRA certifed in Rifle, Pistol and Shotgun! We are students of internationally known instructors and authors John Farnam, Massad Ayoob and other respected trainers and LEO's. We promise expert real world professional training from educated, articulate instructors who care that you understand the material.

You have many options for handgun training. We offer small classes (generally less than 12 and no larger than 20) and a student rating of over 4.6 on a 5.0 scale. We team teach and have experience training hundreds of shooters.

Students range from brand new shooters to police and Force Recon Marines. References are available, and we support our students during and after the class. Jon is one of the few instructors in the state that acutually hold s formal teaching credential.  Jon holds a Masters Degree in Special Education.Jon is a stocking FFL firearms dealer and discounts are offered to our students and graduates.

Note: Riverside Sporting Gear is a division of Jon Thompson LLC and all training provided by Jon Thompson and his staff is done on behalf of this organization.



Attend John Farnam's Two-Day “Confronting Daily Threats/Challenges for the CCW Permit Holder”


This should not be the first defensive pistol course you’ve taken.  Basic safety/tactical skills are assumed.


When you do not have a suitable concealment holster, I suggest you get hold of Gregg Garrett at His holsters and accessories are what I wear, and he will be very helpful when you talk with him.


You must have a suitable concealment holster. Most holsters of reasonable quality are acceptable. We will work with most waist-band holsters (IWB or external), cross-draw holsters, shoulder-holsters, ankle-holsters, off-body carry (handbags, purses). Everything we do will start from concealed carry.


Be sure you bring with you the required number of rounds of pistol ammunition (400) at least two extra magazines or speed loaders, eye (safety glasses) and hearing protection, a sturdy leather or fabric belt (when you're using a waist-band holster), magazine/speed loader carriers, and a baseball cap. As noted above, our work will be from a concealed draw, so please make sure your equipment is genuinely concealable and suitable for continuous, daily wear.


We will accept most reputable pistols in 380Auto, 9mm (9x19), 9x23, 357Sig, 40S&W, 45ACP, and 45GAP calibers. Other, less popular, calibers are also mostly acceptable. Revolvers in 38Spl, 9mm, 357Mg, 44Spl, 44Mg will all work fine. Pistols and revolvers chambered for 22 rimfire are not acceptable.


Back-up pistols are acceptable, but not required, for this Course.


We’ll be doing problem-solving tactical drills involving threats and non-threats, from close range, out to twenty meters.  Verbal skills, disengagement skills, threat-assessment, and shooting skills are combined into each drill. 


The course will entail some physical activity, so you will need to dress appropriately (long pants, long-sleeve shirt, sturdy shoes). You may get dirty, so wear something heavy-duty but inexpensive. Don't show up in sweat pants, nor shorts. You should also bring along an old sports coat or jacket, so that you will able to practice your draw from concealment.


Finally, you will need a gun bag or box, so that you can safely carry your gun on and off the range, unless, of course, you are authorized to carry concealed, in which case I presume you will be carrying to and from the range.


Our training text, The Farnam Method of Defensive Handgunning, Second Edition is now available from DTI Publications, as is The Farnam Method of Defensive Rifle and Shotgun Shooting, Second Edition, and Guns and Warriors, Volume One. In addition Vicki’s two books, Teaching Women to Shoot, a Law Enforcement Instructor’s Guide, and Women Learning to Shoot are also available, all from DTI Publications. You may contact them at 970 482 2520


Course Curriculum includes:


Safe gun keeping, handling, and range safety
Domestic shooting and the issue of deadly force. Self defense
Interfacing with the Criminal-Justice System
Carrying guns concealed, on the person and in the car
Gun Accidents
Handgun systems and their applicability to domestic defense.
Ammunition and ballistics
Administrative handling procedures for autoloading handguns.
Dealing with lethal threats, brandishing


Firearms skills:


Chamber check
User-level maintenance
Interview stance
Trigger manipulation
Multiple shots
Stoppage reduction


To sign up for this course go directly to: and complete your registration.  Neither Jon Thompson LLC DBA Riverside Sporting Gear nor Eagle Mountian Training is a sponor of this course.  All training will be conducted by John Farnam under his supervision.


Got your Minnesota Permit to carry?  Here’s what comes next!

This class is designed for people that have obtained their Minnesota permit to carry and have some shooting experience or have had basic pistol/revolver classes from a qualified instructor.  This course is a foundation course designed to ready you for more advanced instruction if self-defense.  It will also provide you the opportunity to learn and demonstrate valuable skills needed should you wish to proceed toward formal or informal competition.

A prerequisite of taking this course is your knowledge of Minnesota law as it applies to carrying and using your firearm for dense in Minnesota.  You have a valid Minnesota permit to carry.  If you do not, please contact Jon Thompson before enrolling in this class.

In this course, you will learn:

·       How to practice safe firearm handling skills and etiquette on and off the range-- this is walking the walk.

·       The techniques needed to clear jams under stress and the important factors to consider.

·       To apply a grip to your firearm that gives you maximum purchase of your hands on the grip –Stop the muzzle flip, control recoil, get back on target and shoot with defensive accuracy.

·        The secret of determining where your firearm really shoots – the dots don’t always line up.

·       Techniques that will help you to correctly draw from the holster and to return the firearm to the holster from both open carry and concealed carry -- your fingers will tell you a lot.

·       Point shooting, Flash Picture and Fully aimed fire – how these techniques work together.

·       Getting off the X!

This is a five-hour course.  It requires a firearm, holster, concealment garment, proper eye and ear protection and 400 rounds of ammunition.

Class is limited to 8 people.

Cost per Pupil: $250.00


After what comes next—the multiple scenario class!

This class is designed for the person that has already become proficient with the material contained in the class: Got your Minnesota Permit to carry?  Here’s what comes next!  It builds on the skills you learned in that or similar classes and applies it to actual shooting scenarios using multiple targets engaged under stress.

You will face different situations where you will need to assess your options and proceed accordingly.  You will learn to use barricades and shoot while moving.

In this class, you will be put under various levels of stress that will include vocal distraction and use of timer that emits a load beep and records your time to complete the scenario.

In this class, you will:

·       Build on the skills you acquired in: Got your Minnesota Permit to carry?  Here’s what comes next!

·       The basics of handling multiple targets.

·       Be faced with multiple targets that require you to make decisions under stress and act accordingly.  Not all targets will be threats!

·       Learn how to shoot from behind barricades such as walls or barrels (the barrels symbolize hard cover) that provide cover.

·       Learn how to move and shoot at the same time from multiple directions (forward, backward, side to side).

This is a five-hour course. It requires a dependable firearm, holster, concealment garment, proper eye and ear protection and 400 rounds of ammunition.




I bought the DPMS mini SASS from you a little while back.  I just had to tell you what an excellent firearm this is!  After buying a scope and zeroing it (which itself took only about 40 rounds to get the group where I wanted it) the gun has been consistently reliable. Cold or warm, it seems to find the target accurately.  Moreover, because of the way it is configured, my own bad habits (I have a tendency to pull down when I'm excited rather than just squeeze consistently) are minimized. This is the best gun I have ever fired, and the best part is that I own it!  Your recommendation of this gun was spot on. And your care & cleaining instructions were incredibly valuable.  I am telling everyone I know about your place, so I hope you are getting some new customers. I can't wait until deer season.

Gregory S.
Lieutenant Colonel (Retired)
United States Army

Over the years Jon has helped select handguns for my son, my wife and myself. My wife has small hands and Jon found an 9mm M&P that fit her hand perfectly.

Thanks Jon, 
Rob N. Maple Grove, MN

I want to thank you for taking the time to help me find a target gun that fits me well.  I didn't know there were so many differences in firearms.  The Mark lll Hunter was perfect.  It is a pleasure to shoot.  The concern and support you gave me was a big factor for me when I decided to continue learning about firearms.  You helped and continue to help me to be comfortable and safe while handling and shooting my firearm.  The women's only class was just so great to build confidence.  I will continue to come to you for training and anything else I need for my guns.  Thanks again.

 Andrea V. Cokato MN

I can’t thank you enough for the time you spent with Shane and I last night.  That was the most thorough and informative time I’ve ever spent discussing firearms.  I really enjoyed learning about the specific differences in each brand and the variety of what’s available not to mention you walking us through the optic options.  Thanks also for looking at the revolvers I brought and for giving a ball park retail value, that was very helpful.  You answered questions I hadn’t even thought of yet.  


Mark B.