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Trainers say firearm safety course are vital to responsible gun ownership

Gun safety training to start a new year
Posted at 10:47 PM, Dec 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-23 00:47:26-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — There's no standard training protocol required to buy a gun in the United States.

A 2017 University of Washington study found that only one in four Americans receive any kind of formal firearm training.

In Tucson, trainers in a handgun safety course say it's a step toward responsible gun ownership.

"We spend the morning in the classroom and we go through firearm safety, safety rules, ammunition, things that can go wrong with ammunition," said Fred Thourot, a range master at Southeast Regional Park Shooting Range.

"What we're trying to do is teach them how to shoot safely, we're not trying to make marksman out of them."

Thourot says there's another course for that.

The idea, according to Thourot, is to educate any person willing to learn, about the weight of responsibility resting in their hands.

"You've got the responsibility of life or death so you need to learn to shoot the firearm properly," Thourot said.

"You need to learn the laws associated with the use of firearms and that's why training comes in and that's why it's important.>

This course, Thourot stresses, the thoughtful use of a firearm as a tool for personal safety.

"Kind of like a fire extinguisher. If you've got a fire at home, it's going to take a little while for the fire department to respond. The fire extinguisher is a safety device that allows you to deal with the situation as a first responder."

Susan Lockwood says she pursued her interest in firearms for personal safety, the education was just a natural step for her.

"Well I was curious about gun safety and the various guns, if I was going to purchase one. This class let's you try out different types," Lockwood said.

"I just wanted to be well informed when making that decision."