The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Money

February 20, 2010

Expert says firearms training is a vital tool

Concealed weapon permits are on the rise, experts say, and taking classes from a credible instructor can be the difference between life and death.

Dan Farley, a retired Division of Natural Resources officer, said some people who are receiving certification to teach concealed weapon classes aren’t as qualified as others.

“I’ve heard too many bad stories of people saying ‘we just talked in the classroom, we didn’t shoot,’” he said. “If you’re going to learn, you have to get out and do it. Guidelines say you have to fire a gun; a lot of instructors aren’t firing guns in class.”

He recommends that anyone who is thinking of enrolling in a firearms training class ask four questions:

n What credentials do they have?

n How long have they been a firearms instructor?

n Do they provide personal, hands-on instructions?

n What are the contents of the course?

Farley feels the 38 years he spent training police officers is a qualification he has that others may not. He was also on the governor’s 20 pistol team for 10 years, which is a collection of the top 20 law enforcement pistol shooters in the state.

He’s been a certified firearms instructor since 1972.

Farley is offering two classes. One is a concealed carry class. The other, which he’ll be offering at Gunsmoke Indoor Pistol Range with Raleigh County Sheriff’s Sgt. K.R. Hopkins, is a two-level, basic and advanced handgun training course.

The concealed carry class will consist of basic handgun safety and marksmanship, he said.

Things he’ll cover, but aren’t limited, are proper handgun selection, loading and unloading techniques, cleaning, proper use of cover and concealment, proper carrying of the handgun and safety within the home.

He also can teach one-on-one and as early as 7:30 a.m., he said.

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