The Independence Academy Team

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Rick Casner

Academy Director

In 2008, following a two year ecclesiastical mission, Rick chose to center his professional career on firearms and firearms education. For the past ten years, Rick has developed a diverse academic and experiential knowledge of firearms and firearms education. Rick graduated with an associate's degree in Gunsmithing from the Colorado School of Trades, practiced as a gunsmith, built machine guns for foreign and domestic militaries, and owned and operated a Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) business in Colorado.

Thereafter, Rick studied the management of recreational shooting facilities, achieving a bachelor's of science degree in Recreation Management from Brigham Young University-Idaho. He then advanced these studies at the University of Idaho where he is now completing a master’s degree in Recreation, Tourism, and Sports Management.

For academy related questions, please contact me at:

Jim Love

Curriculum Developer and Instructor

After serving with the Idaho State Police (ISP) for the past 29 years, Jim retired, bringing with him his years of experience in curriculum development and firearms instruction. During the his last 17 years with ISP, Jim was instrumental in developing their current firearms curriculum while serving as their full-time training specialist in the ISP training section. In this capacity, Jim served as the lead firearms instructor and armorer and holds an Idaho POST master firearms instructor certificate.

Prior to his time in training, Jim spent five years assigned to the Idaho Governors office where he was responsible for the development and implementation of the Dignitary Protection Unit. Preceding his law enforcement service, Jim also spent six years in the United States Air Force. Jim and his wife Liz currently reside in Meridian, Idaho where they have raised two sons, one of which currently serves in the United States Navy as a military law enforcement officer. The other regularly competes in United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) competitions.

Jim is a member of the USPSA and regularly competes in both USPSA and multi-gun events. Jim is looking forward to sharing his experience with novice shooters as well as those who have been shooting for years.

Gordon Dye

Academy Instructor

Gordon is currently a Police Academy Director and has been a police officer for over 22 years.  He has instructed firearms since 1989 when he became a Marine Corp Rifle and Pistol Marksmanship Instructor. Since then Gordon has trained U.S. and foreign military and law enforcement in firearms and tactics.  He also spent 10 years on a Police Tactical Team as a member, leader and instructor.

Gordon has received instructor certifications from the United States Marine Corps, Idaho Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), National Tactical Officers Association and the National Rifle Association.  He is currently an Idaho POST Master Firearms Instructor and a current NRA Law Enforcement Handgun Instructor.

Gordon enjoys instructing people at all levels of ability in firearms.  His priority is the safe and fun operation of many different weapons platforms. He spent several years volunteering as a youth coach for the Junior Shooters Magazine Three Gun Team and writing for Junior Shooters Magazine.

LeRoy Graham

LeRoy began his career as a U.S. Army military police officer, serving in Fort Polk (USA) and obtained top secret security clearance for an assignment at N.A.T.O HQ (Netherlands) for Central Europe. His military career also included two separate, one year tours with the Army National Guard – air assault and military intelligence.

After moving to Boise 3 years later he attended Boise State University and dedicated 26 years to the Boise Police Force, where he was promoted to Sergeant. He had a wide variety of assignments including SWAT, Gang Unit, Narcotics, Criminal Intelligence, and many more.

Serving on three legislative committees he helped enact three current laws. He was also the supervisor in charge of bringing Mobile Data Terminals (computers) to police vehicles, and brought a case management and intelligence system to the department.

After retiring as Sergeant, LeRoy taught for Drug Free Idaho and has enjoyed the last 6 years teaching firearms safety, Idaho laws, personal protection and the use of firearms.


  • 30 years military and law enforcement
  • NRA Certified – Pistol, Personal Protection in and outside the Home, Range Safety Officer
  • Certified Idaho Concealed Carry Weapons Instructor (enhanced)
  • P.O.S.T. Certified Master Officer and Supervisor
  • P.O.S.T. Academy Class Instructor (and various others)
  • Drug Free Idaho and Rural Meth Initiative Instructor
  • and more…

Training Highlights

  • Secret Service Threat Analysis Seminar
  • LA County S.E.B. Swat School
  • D.E.A. Academy
  • Officer Survival (various)
  • Gang/Outlaw/Bikers (various)
  • Clandestine Lab Investigations
  • Site Safety Officer Training