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Facility Spotlight: Sonoran Desert Institute

Local 2A-friendly facilities are the lifeblood of our program and our community. These businesses and organizations provide a unique opportunity for us to meet and get to know our U.S. & Texas LawShield member family in a welcoming, responsible, gun-friendly environment.

This week, we’re taking a look at Sonoran Desert Institute (SDI), based in Tempe, AZ, and what their team can offer you as a local 2A leader in your community.

Sonoran Desert Institute

Founded in 2000 and accredited in 2004, Sonoran Desert Institute is a private, post-secondary college with the goal of providing students with the latest, firearms industry-driven, higher education programs, delivered online and featuring practical application.

Students are offered the opportunity to achieve an Associate Degree of Science in Firearms Technology and an Advanced Gunsmithing Certificate program. Available course topics include: customizing & woodworking, armorer skills and functions, shooting sports management, stock-checkering, muzzleloader build, kydex forming, scope mounting, and more.

SDI is proud that a majority of its students are active duty military or veteran students and works hard to deliver comprehensive, relevant coursework that students enjoy.

Sonoran Desert Institute Curriculum

Associate of Science in Firearms Technology

SDI’s Associate of Science in Firearms Technology program is a 60-semester-hour program. Students do not have to travel or relocate to gain coveted credentials and expert knowledge about the firearms industry. There are only a handful of firearms degree programs in the United States.

Courses include everything from ballistics, gunsmithing tools, firearm inspections, and general courses in business, communication, science, and math.

“My decision to attend Sonoran Desert Institute definitely changed my life. Since beginning classes at SDI, I have become a certified Patrol Rifle Instructor and started my own business. My education from Sonoran Desert Institute gave me new skills and confidence to pursue a career in the firearms industry.” – Graduate, Patrick Kimball

Advanced Gunsmithing Certificate Program

“I actually really enjoyed my time with SDI. Initially going into things, I was a bit arrogant and didn’t really think I’d end up learning much. I knew having a certification or degree in the field would set me apart from the other gunsmiths in the area and that was my main motivation for enrolling. I was quite happy to find out I didn’t know half as much as I thought I did, and not only did I learn a lot while attending, but I was able to ask myself the right questions and really ensure that gunsmithing was the correct career choice for me. Graduating despite adversity was really just the cherry on top of everything.”  – Graduate, Josh Stevens

In SDI’s 32-credit Advanced Gunsmithing Certificate, students gain valuable knowledge on operating a gunsmithing business. By successfully completing the certificate program, students will be able to perform the basic functions of an armorer, improve firearms, and much more. Another graduate states:

“SDI has been a great school! Very helpful and supportive whenever I have called in or emailed my instructors. Plus, the material you learn will have you set to start up your own gunsmithing shop with confidence!” – Stephen Turner

Class Is In Session

Supporting businesses like the Sonoran Desert Institute helps promote the rights of responsible gun owners across your community.

Students and 2A-friendly business owners should look no further than the Sonoran Desert Institute for a well-rounded curriculum and hands-on experience, with even more special perks for U.S. & Texas LawShield members to come. Keep your eyes open!

For more information about the Sonoran Desert Institute, call their toll-free number at (844) 238-0165 or visit their website at

1555 W. University Dr., Ste. 103

Tempe, AZ 85281


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