About Fortress Training

Fortress Training was created in 2013 by John Finnessy, fueled by the overreach of Maryland legislation, to bring assurance and balance back into the lives of Marylanders.

From beginner to tactical handgun, we offer training programs including:


Maryland Wear and Carry


Handgun Qualification License (HQL)


Pistol Pro


Advanced Pistol


ON-Range and OFF-Range

Simply put – we know handguns and have over 20,000 students to back it up.

John Finnessy - Fortress Training

John Finnessy

Fortress Training CEO // Certified Firearms Instructor


Glock Professional Instructor

LASR Certified Instructor

USA Carry Featured Instructor

USCCA Instructor

Glock Certified Armorer

SIRT Instructor

NRA Certified

Certified Instructor for:

Arizona Dept. of Public Safety

Maryland State Police

Virginia State Police

West Virginia Sheriff

South Carolina State Law Enforcement

MPD of Washington, DC

Delaware Attorney General

Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification

New Hampshire State Police

Florida Dept. Ag & Consumer Affairs

Meet John Finnessy

Featured In

Fox 45 Baltimore Logo
Baltimore Sun Logo
ABC 7 Arlington Logo

News Appearances

Happy Shooters

Student testimonials

So much I want to say, but the words are hard to express. Susan was awesome answering questions and helping me along at various points. I had a SNAFU come up and Susan just took care of it, didn't charge me anything more and did not make a big deal about it. Just got me to where I needed to be. John could, quite honestly, be the greatest firearms instructor I have experienced: real life situations, fantastic teacher, and taught lessons and techniques (and made sure we were competent) with real equipment that, quite literally, saves lives. About two hours into the class, it hit me: I had been doing so many things wrong for so many years and, being an engineer, John was there to explain not just the how, but the why of everything. The whole company is exemplary. Major-major light bulbs throughout the class. I had low expectations and yeah, two hours in, I was like, "well, well, we gonna learn today." God bless John and Susan. Beautiful educators and people.
Jeremy Wetmore
Jeremy Wetmore
Excellent HQL training. I have little to no experience with guns, and was concerned that my lack of knowledge would be a hinderance. However, this was not at all the case. I felt totally comfortable in class, and learned a ton. It did not feel like a formality or "box checking" type of class. John clearly takes real pride in this material, and presents information in a way that will allow anyone to understand and retain the information. My main goal was to learn simple best practices regarding safe handling of a firearm, etc., and the class exceeded my expectations significantly. I would recommend Fortress Training to anyone, and will definitely be a return client.
Daniel Miller
Daniel Miller
Great HQL class very informative and staff is absolutely wonderful
Christopher Watson
Christopher Watson
I had taken 4 other wear and carry courses in two different states over the years. This was by far the best....by far. If you are going to carry a gun and live in the state of Maryland this is where you want to get trained.
Steve Chilcote
Steve Chilcote
attended the basic HQL class. Very well taught. Pacing well thought out, the instructor, Dean, was helpful knowledgeable, and a lefty -- which helped as sometimes right handed persons aren't able to explain to leftys. Highly recommend.
David Aughenbaugh
David Aughenbaugh
Maryland Wear & Carry: First Class operation, period. Exceeded all expectations. As a longtime firearm enthusiast, hunter and all around proponent of the Second Amendment, John and his entire staff are THE kind of organization that should be teaching the Wear & Carry permit, especially here in the State of Maryland. They aren't 'checking boxes' so you meet the requirement, they instill the necessary tools so you "EXCEED" the requirement. Providing the knowledge to prepare the mind & body for the responsibility of safely carrying a firearm, before, during and God forbid, after. Bottomline, if you want to take a class, you have a choice from many organizations, but if you want Next Level Training, Fortress is the Best in Class. I for one will make it a point to use them as long as I am in the area. David Aughenbaugh
Cameron Rees
Cameron Rees
As a fact, these people save lives and make people more law abiding through their training. Thank you for helping me avoid the morgue and prison.
Rachel Fazenbaker
Rachel Fazenbaker
My husband and I both attended the “Wear and Carry” class in order to obtain our wear and carry permit. To be completely honest before I attended the class I felt as though the class was overpriced after hearing how much other people paid through other companies, BUT I feel as though there is no price on the information I received and I do not feel in anyway was I ripped off nor charged too much . Not only did I learn about gun safety, I also received education on possible situations as well consequences. The class was so good and exceeded our expectations completely. John, Susan and their team of instructors were outstanding and I definitely plan on attending more classes in October. I highly recommend this class to anyone who wants a wear and carry and wants to be properly educated on safety. Thank you so much for the amount of education and training you guys have done to pass it along to us. Sincerely - Rachel & Dave Fazenbaker
Mike E.
Mike E.
Above and beyond for the Maryland Wear and Carry doesn't even do the class justice. Real life scenario thinking and training that is top notch and would be extra in other training schools. I will not look elsewhere for future training!!

Questions Before You Enroll?

We're happy to answer any questions you might have before or after you enroll. Just give us a call!