Courses We Offer or List


Who are we and why select us for training?

Riverside Sporting Gear has teamed with Eagle Mountain Trading Company to bring you high quality fireams training.  This includes the Minnesota Permit to Carry, Individual and small group instruction in firearms safety and use.  We generally limit our class sizes to 8 persons or less to ensure high quality instruction.

Jon Thompson is the owner of Riverside  Sporitng Gear and Brian Cooper is the owner of Eagle Mountain Trading Company.  We are National Rifle Association (NRA) and United States Conceal Carry (USCCA) 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.

We 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 and USCCA Certified Instructors we offer a full range of courses, but will continue to concentrate on monthly Minneosta  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!

Jon Thompson also offers the USCCA instructor course for persons interested in becoming a USCCA certifed permit to carry instructor.


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.

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 must 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--walk 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

         To 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.

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

·       Getting off the X!

This is a 3-hour course.  It requires a firearm, holster, proper eye and ear protection and 300 rounds of ammunition.

Class is limited to 8 people.

Cost per Pupil: $150.00 for 4 -8 students (includes range time). Private lessons or 1-3 students $200.00 per student (includes range time).


Drawing for the Holster Correctly Using Open Carry and Concealed Carry Techniques

Learning to properly draw a firearm from the holster is a skill that must be correctly learned. This is particularly true when drawing from concealment (under a jacket etc.). 

The holster class will focus on correct technique with unloaded firearms and progress to loaded firearms. Targets will be acquired at different distances with focus on defensive accuracy. 

This class will take approximately 3 hours. It requires a firearm, holster, concealment garment, proper eye and ear protection and 200 rounds of ammunition.

The class is limited to 8 people. The cost of this class is $150,00 per student.  Groups of two students the cost is: $225.oo for both.


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!  and the holster class. 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!   and the holster class.

· Practice the basics of handling multiple targets.

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

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

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

This is a three-hour course. It requires a dependable firearm, holster, concealment garment (vest, jacket, sweat shirt, etc.), proper eye and ear protection and 400 rounds of ammunition.

The per student: $150.00 for 4-8 students (includes range time). Private lessons or 1-3 students is $200.00 per student (includes range time). 

Countering the Mass Shooter Threat

This is a USCCA certified class.  Therefore, we were required to complete the USCCA provided instruction and the pass the required tests before we could  offer the class. 

USCCA's lead instructor Michael Martin has done his research to establish the credibility of the material that will be presented.   With so many instructors getting on the band wagon to offer this type of class it is refreshing to see that Michael Martin has taken the time to do it right. Taking this class will help to prepare you the event that you become involved in a mass shooting experience.  

This class is divided into two parts as follows:

Part One:

1.       Mass shootings by the numbers.

2.       Would reducing magazine capacity work?

3.       Would banning AR-15s or other firearms work?

4.       Do gun-free zones help or hurt?

5.       Does victim response make a difference?

6.       What are Universal Background Checks?  Would they stop mass shootings?

7.       What about terrorist watch lists and no-fly lists?


Part Two:


1.       Know the signs

2.       Create an Emergency Operations Plan.

3.       Special Considerations for Schools.

4.       Special Considerations for Houses of Worship.

5.       Run, Hide or Fight.

6.       Triage and Treat the Wounded.

7.       Eliminate gun Free Zones.

8.       Where do we go from Here?


The cost of this class is: $75.00 per person or $100.00 for groups of two attending at the same time.


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.