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New gun owners get trained through county's First Shots program

New gun owners get trained through county's First Shots program
Posted at 1:57 PM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 16:57:44-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Local gun shop owners say gun and ammo sales are up, and many buyers are first time gun owners. If you’re taking a shot at a new gun, you may want to learn how to hold it first. That’s the goal of First Shots, the county’s free two hour shooting class held twice a year.

“There have been record sales for the last three or four years in the United States, so they went out and bought a firearm but they don’t know what opportunities there are to learn how to use it safely,” said Bill Perkins, Head Coach of the Wildgats.

The trainings are led by the Wildgats, a shooting club at the University of Arizona. Many club members are certified coaches and experienced shooters. A few of them just got back from winning two categories in the national shooting championships last week.

“We’re all interested in making our community safer," Perkins said. "For the Wildgats this is our opportunity to do some community service and to share our knowledge and skills with the community.”

Any shooters are welcome at first shots. Whether it’s a ten-year-old prepping for a job as a police officer…

“Sometimes police officers have to tell the bad guys that they’re going to shoot if they do something bad to the good guy,” Taylor Orsborn-Hargis, shooting trainee.

Or a 77-year-old, arming himself against potential danger.

“I decided I needed to have a little protection maybe," said Gary Williams, shooting trainee. "And if I did I better get myself prepared for that maybe.”

Everyone walks through eight stations. These include safety lessons, grip and sight alignment, and a laser simulator.

“I learned that it’s important the way you handle your gun at all times, where you point it, how you handle it, what you're around, your environment,” Williams said.

The classes have become more popular over the years. The last lesson had 150 people sign up. Trainers say with the rise in new shooters, these classes are evermore important.