Appling, Ga. (WJBF)– If you have a firearm or you’re thinking about getting one, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office wants to make sure you know how to use it. Today, they hosted a “Citizen’s Firearms Class” to offer free and personalized instruction.
The sheriff’s office hosts six of these classes per year, and deputies say they’ve had a strong response. They even have a waiting list of about 200 people.
“It’s a great class and I encourage everybody that’s a citizen of Columbia County to take advantage of it- it’s a free service provided by Columbia County Sheriff’s Office,” said Capt. Clay Smith of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.
These deputies volunteer their Saturdays to teach regular people how to properly use their guns.
After three hours in the classroom, the students hit the range with a better understanding of their weapons and the law.
“It was well done, well carried out, well instructed, and it was a tremendous 44:35 amount of fun being able to put all that knowledge now into action, and we had a great time,” said participant Time Reeve.
Each class has only 20 students for a more personalized experience.
“And so each instructor has a student 33:26 so you know shows them how to handle a gun, hold a gun, shoot a gun,” Smith said.
The class also gives people the lowdown on local gun laws.
“You know when you have somebody that has never handled a gun, we want them to know how to handle a gun, we want them to be familiar with the laws of owning a gun, possessing a gun, when to carry the gun and we just want every citizen to know that,” Smith said.
The class isn’t just for first-timers — experienced shooters are also welcome. Most people bring their own guns, but the sheriff’s office will lend you one as well. Some people even buy their first guns just for this class.
“To me new students are easier to teach because they have no bad habits,” Smith said.
For the more experienced, the course also serves as a refresher.
Tim Reeve says he grew up with guns, but you can never be too safe.
“I’ve learned alot of new stuff. Met alot of great people. Learned alot of things that I had forgotten or taken advantage of over the years. It’s just a great reminder,” he said.
If you are interested in attending the next Citizen’s Firearms Class, you can contact the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Community Services Division.