Police Department offers free Firearm Safety Course for Women

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Picayune Police Department is offering a free handgun safety course for women. Applications are available at the station. Shown from left are: , Jeremy Magri, Chief Bryan Dawsey and James Bolton.

The Picayune Police Department is offering a free handgun safety course for women. Applications are available at the station. Shown from left are: Ray Carlisle, Jeremy Magri, Chief Bryan Dawsey and James Bolton.                                                   Jodi Marze | Picayune Item


Police Chief Bryan Dawsey and the Picayune Police Department are offering 20 local women a free Firearm Safety Course for handgun safety certification.

“For years we have got calls from the ladies of the community asking for this,” Dawsey said. “We have now worked things out with the local firearm range and are proud to offer it to the ladies of the community for free.”

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Classes will be limited to 20 registrants and classroom training will be held Monday, March 24, and Tuesday, March 25, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Students will be enrolled in the first class until it fills.  Enrollment overflow will be scheduled for the following day, Dawsey said.

There will be a four-hour classroom component, followed by a three-hour firing range session prior to certification.  The classroom portion will be held at the Picayune Police Department located at 328 S. Main St.

The classroom portion of the course will address safety rules, human body language, the steps of firing a weapon, proper body position and command presence. It will also review gun laws for Mississippi.

“We have incorporated some of our officer training into the class,” he said.

The enrollment process begins with picking up an application at the Picayune Police Department.  The dispatch department can be called from the lobby and someone will bring out the application form.

The form requires the registrant’s name, address, date of birth, email and social security number. A criminal background check is also required. There is also a release of liability form that will be attached.

Applicants must be 18 years or older. Women who are pregnant or nursing or who have a felony or domestic violence conviction will not be accepted.

Dawsey said those selected should bring a handgun that will be checked at the door before class. They will need to bring 50 rounds of ammunition to the firing range the following week.

On Saturday, March 29, students will be taken to local firing range from 2 to 5 p.m. for field experience.

“Depending on weather wear comfortable clothing and footwear and dress for conditions,” Dawsey said. “The police department will provide eye and ear protection.”

Dawsey said the department is very excited about offering the free class to area women because criminals perceive them as easy targets.

This is the first gun safety course for women that can be recalled and Dawsey said it has been heavily requested.

“This is one of our ways that we want to reach out to the ladies of Picayune and Pearl River County so they can learn to handle a handgun safely for self defense,” Dawsey said. “In today’s times you never know when you can be a targeted victim of a crime and ladies need to be able to protect themselves. This class is a big deal for our community and county. The response we get will depend on how many classes we have in the future. I certainly expect an overwhelming response.”

To be selected to attend this free certification class provided by the Picayune Police Department, applications must be completed and returned no later than March 19.

“We have worked hard on this course and are very proud to offer it,’ Dawsey said. “Anytime we have the opportunity to provide training to help people in our community defend themselves or to prevent them from being a target, we want to do that.”