Firearm safety courses valuable to the community

Published 7:00 am Friday, December 12, 2014

Firearm ownership is one of the freedoms we as Americans enjoy or forego, but it’s there for those who want it.

The thing about handguns, as with all firearms, is that they require training to learn their proper use and care so they are used safely and with respect.

Next month the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department will offer a handgun training course for women interested in learning how to use and care for their weapon.

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Courses offered by law enforcement in the proper handling of firearms will provide the community with factual information and will also provide a live fire component. Hands-on experience is the best way to learn a valuable skill such as the proper use of a weapon.

Some simple tips gun owners should keep in mind while handling their weapon include keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction at all times, unloading the weapon when not in use and never relying on the weapon’s safety to prevent it from discharging. Weapon handlers should also be mindful of the placement of targets and what is behind it. Ensuring there is not a person or animal behind a target will avoid a tragic accident.

These are just a few of the tips the sheriff’s department will share with participants during the training.

Courses like these are beneficial to the community. They not only show that local law enforcement agencies are willing to share their extensive knowledge with the public, but also form relationships with the community.

There is a stipulation with this upcoming course, it’s only offered to women. While the program is new to the community, it is our hope that it can be expanded to not only include adults of both genders, but possibly responsible young adults.

By sharing knowledge with the entire community, the safety of everyone will be increased.