The New Jersey Firearms Academy (NJFA) is a privately owned firearms and law enforcement training academy founded by Lateif Dickerson on 1999 at Jersey City in the state of New Jersey. It is considerably the first firearms academy to be owned by an African-American. By 2000, the New Jersey Firearms Academy became incorporated and was fully operational.
The New Jersey Firearms Academy started its roots when Lateif Dickerson felt that there should be a higher standard and quality of training than what was currently available and used by the National Rifle Association as base level standard. Lateif Dickerson first realized this when he was teaching people how to properly shoot firearms and firearm safety at the Cherry Ridge Range in Vernon, New Jersey. He also noticed that he taught and gave clearer instructions better than most instructors teaching at the range with him. This prompted Lateif Dickerson to become a Training Counselor and build an educational institution dedicated to teaching people the best quality of firearms training there is available.
The foundation and model of the New Jersey Firearms Academy embarked when Lateif Dickerson was greatly inspired by the structure and organization of the Jersey City Kickboxing and Taekwondo Academy by his friend and founder Felix Claudio. Lateif Dickerson sought to start his own firearms training academy using the business model he observed at Felix Claudio’s academy.
What the idea needed was a suitable name. The first name the academy originally would have had was ‘Jersey City Firearms Academy’ however, since it was too geographically limiting, it was then changed to New Jersey Firearms Academy so that the school would reach a wider audience, not just for one the state’s major cities. Hence, the name is what we now know today – New Jersey Firearms Academy.
Upon establishment, the New Jersey Firearms Academy was first located at 34 Magnolia Ave in Jersey City and later relocated at 231 Bay Street and eventually finally settling in its current place at 174 Danforth Avenue, all from Jersey City in Hudson County, in the state of New Jersey. Classes are held in Danforth Avenue while the shooting itself is done in several local range locations. The classroom prohibits any kind of loaded gun while a class is in session and instructors only let their students bring their own firearms on the range.