Classes teach gun safety to women

Published 10:50 pm Friday, August 22, 2014

The Pike County Sheriff’s Department has hosted gun safety classes for women in the past, and Sheriff Russell Thomas said those classes will be revving up again shortly.

Several classes are scheduled for September and October, with openings still available in the October classes.

Thomas said the program was started several years ago after receiving inquiries from women within the community about firearm education and safety.

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“That’s what made us get the program started, so we started the female firearm program,” Thomas said. “As time has gone on, word has spread. It’s gotten bigger. Some years we’ll do two classes. Some years we’ll do eight classes. We’ve done as many as 10 classes in a year. This year will set a record for participants.”

For those women who are curious about firearms and the safety procedures, but don’t have a firearm to learn with, Thomas said the Sheriff’s Department furnishes both ammunition and firearm for participants.

“Some of them had never shot a weapon, so we actually furnished the weapon,” Thomas said. “We try not to get too many in the class, so it’s hands-on. They get to shoot and we can discuss Alabama’s laws as they relate to the class.”

While the class is just a few hours one day, Angeline Green who participated in one of the previous classes said it was a huge help.

“I have always been around firearms, but I was scared,” Green said.

“One of the first things we learned was how to load and unload the ammunition and turn the safety on and off.”

Participants in the class range from seasoned shooters to beginners, and Green said she was eager to get back for a class and hopes to be able to take her all of her daughters with her.

“I would definitely go back,” Green said.

“It was just the beginning of learning about them. I was really afraid to mess with them before, and now I’m not. Three of my girls went, but I’d like to get the last one to go with me next time.”

For more information on the classes and how you can participate, contact the Pike County Sheriff’s Department at 566-4347.