AUGUSTA, GA. (WJBF)-Following the recent event of shootings in the area, firearms instructors share the importance of understanding the firearm before purchasing.

A local Shooting range holds several instructive training classes per week. The important thing is Learning how to properly use a firearm, which can ultimately be that difference preventing tragedy.

 “I actually teach five topics to everybody in my basics class and my very first topic– and I ensure they understand this– the most important thing I teach them is firearm safety” Firearms Instructor Gary Slater said.

Since the beginning of this year, there have been more than 260 mass shootings in this country. 

Instructors at Shooters shooting range say while there appears to be an increase in gun crime, that can be minimized through firearm education. 

“So we go through– the very first topic is the four general firearm safety rules. We spend as much time necessary for them to understand that,” Slater said.

Slater says the first step to understanding gun safety is learning the fundamentals.

“Because safety rules are not how you shoot the gun, that’s just what protects you when you are shooting the gun. The fundamentals are how you shoot the gun accurately,” Slater said.

As a firearm instructor, Slater emphasizes being prepared with the proper skills. 

“What we as citizens need to do is be trained, equipped and prepared to defend ourselves,” Slater said. 

Instructors say, the key idea for gun safety is being well-versed on your firearm and the protection it can provide you.