The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

April 17, 2014

Concealed weapon permit course to be held at church

If you have been curious about getting a concealed carry permit, you can take a class from a trained officer in early May.

On May 10 at 9 a.m., Jonathan Clemins will teach a concealed carry class for $75 at the First Brethren Church Fellowship Center in Oak Hill. The church is right beside Roy’s Loans. The class is sponsored by West Virginia Defensive Firearms Training.

Clemins is an officer in Huntington and is also an NRA-Certified Pistol Instructor, NRA-Certified Range Safety Officer and has taught as a professor of forensic science and criminal justice.

He is qualified as a Pistol Expert through the Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Program and has won several shooting competitions.

Whereas some classes don’t have you shoot, Clemins says he thinks it’s a necessity.

“Having a concealed carry class, you can’t teach someone how to use a firearm without live-fire practice,” he said.

Clemins said being licensed to carry a concealed gun is about being prepared for anything.

“We have fire extinguishers in our buildings and in our schools,” he said. “We have fire exits. We do fire drills. It’s the same thing with our drivers. We have a driver’s license for responsible drivers. We have seat-belts in our cars in case of an accident. We prepare for everything else but we’re least prepared for violence.

“I’m a police officer in Huntington and one of the things victims say is ‘I never thought it would happen to me.’ I think a lot of people think that way. Unfortunately we don’t do a very good job to prepare for a violent encounter.

“In the last 50 years, how many children have you heard of being killed by a school fire. Zero. None. How many have been killed by school violence? Hundreds. It’s an example of how we fail to prepare for violence.”

By having a permit, Clemins said you can give yourself and your family another level of safety.

“I believe that protecting yourself and your loved ones from harm is the greatest privilege and responsibility you have,” he said. “Those who agree with my statement and feel the same sense of responsibility should seriously consider a concealed carry permit.  

“I don’t cast judgment on those who choose not to carry, but I respect those who do.”

If you have a handgun, you can bring it to the class, but a handgun rental is included as part of the $75 class fee. Lunch is also included in the class.

— E-mail: cneff@register-herald.com

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