Free concealed-carry class held

Photos by DEAN HUMPHREY/The Daily Sentinel—Pam Henry, left, and other people fire their weapons at the Bureau of Land Management shooting range north of Grand Junction. They had just participated in a firearms instruction class for concealed-carry weapons. The session was part of free instruction being offered around the state by the organization Guns for Everyone.

Gun owners practice shooting after receiving enough training to apply for concealed-carry permits. An organizer of the instruction said the course was envisioned in part as a response to a legislative measure that would have banned concealed carry on public college campuses in Colorado. The measure was defeated in the Legislature.

Tim Rix travels quite a bit for his job with United Sand and Gravel, and this summer has been no exception. Add to that the fact that his wife, Jessica, sells purses and often leaves shows and fairs late at night.

Plus, their children are 6 and 2. It makes a man think.

So, the Grand Junction couple attended a free concealed-carry carry permit class Saturday “because you never know what could happen,” Tim explained.

The class, sponsored by the Mesa County Patriots in collaboration with Guns for Everyone, drew about 130 participants who, at the end of the four and a half hour course, were given a certificate that enabled them to apply for a concealed-carry carry permit. National Rifle Association-certified instructor Edgar Antillon of Guns for Everyone taught the course.

“(Gun use) is not about killing people, it’s about being able to defend your own life,” Antillon explained.

The course addressed basic gun safety, gun handling, defensive shooting, home defense and other topics. Rule No. 1, Antillon said, is always assume all firearms are loaded.

The class, one of a series being held around the state, was envisioned in part as a response to Colorado House Bill 1226, effectively killed in the Colorado Senate in March, which would have banned concealed carry on public college campuses in Colorado.

“So, these classes are for people who are interested in their rights, and we’re doing them for free because not everyone can afford the cost of a concealed-carry carry class,” Antillon said.

Referring to the most recent legislative session and elections, Colo. Rep. Ray Scott told the audience Saturday, “That was terrible what happened last year. But there’s nothing that happens in the legislature that cannot be overturned in two to four years.”

Scott said Front Range legislators, particularly Denver legislators, are “messing with your personal protection. They don’t understand our heritage, they don’t understand how we believe in our freedoms, yet we’re having to defend ourselves to them.”

The defense of the right to bear arms laid out in the Second Amendment was a strong theme of Saturday’s class, as were the practicalities of gun use for self-defense, including the aftermath of possible scenarios in which guns may be used.

For example, Antillon said, on the chance that a concealed-carry carry permit holder has used a gun for self-defense and moved to cover, “you want to call the police and you want to make sure you don’t start contaminating the scene.

“But watch how you talk to the police. If a police officer asks you how many rounds did you shoot, you don’t say three, you say my magazine holds so many rounds. When they ask you stuff like that, you say as little as possible. If you defended yourself, do not be bullied by a cop.”

Saturday’s class was followed by the opportunity to practice at the BLM public shooting range on 27 1/4 Road, which dozens did.

One of the day’s overall themes, Antillon said, is to remember that guns are tools for defense and protection and that “the only thing that’s important is life. You only want to use the gun when your life, when somebody else’s life, is in the balance. You have to make sure you understand that a car, a TV, is not worth your life.”


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Not Freida Cook:  Am a relative - Ltpar:
Great job by the NRA and local supporters in putting on such a class.  All to many citizens become gun owners and never take the time to learn the legal or mechanical aspects of using a firearm. As a law enforcement officer for years, the only thing that used to worry me more than a criminal with a gun, was a citizen with a gun.  Such a class should be a mandatory part of purchasing a firearm.

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