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TCSO firearm safety class registration opens

The Troup County Sheriff’s Office is hosting a Citizens Firearms Safety Course on Saturday, May 8.

According to TCSO Sgt. Stewart Smith, the free safety course teaches basic gun safety skills along with all of the rules and regulations of owning a firearm. 

“We have been hosting these since 2013,” Smith said. “We started hosting them after getting a lot of requests. Since then, we’ve hosted at least two a year.” 

To pre-register, participants must be a Troup County resident, must be at least 21 years of age and pass a criminal background check. For more information and to register, call Smith at 706-883-1616. 

Smith noted that participants will be turned away if they did not go through the pre-registration process. 

“This is a way for us to educate the proper use of fire arms,” Smith said. “Our main goal and main focus is to teach those who aren’t gun savvy or don’t own a gun. We want them to know the basic gun controls and how to be safe with a firearm.” 

The course consists of a Q&A and informational session with TCSO deputies and Sheriff James Woodruff, then two to three hours on the gun range. 

The class goes over carry-on laws as well and when and where that license can be utilized. 

“Sheriff James Woodruff has always been a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and also an advocate for gun safety,” Smith said. 

Anyone who has taken the course before are allowed to take it again. 

A certified firearms instructor will teach the course and each participant is asked to bring their own handgun and at least 30 rounds of ammunition. Calibers ranging from .9 to .45 are acceptable and holsters are recommended. 

If a participant does not own or bring a gun, one will be provided for them. 

“Parents are allowed to bring their child to learn as well, but we typically direct kids that are younger to go to the Department of Natural Resources for a hunter safety course,” Smith said. “This class is more geared toward adults.”

He noted that they typically get a lot of good feedback from the courses.

“They get free educational knowledge of a handgun while also building camaraderie, which helps spread the message for other people to be educated,” Smith said. “Most people have a basic knowledge of firearms, but we do have some that don’t own or haven’t ever shot one. Those who have limited knowledge sometimes typically come to class very nervous to shoot but by the end of the course they are comfortable handling the handgun.”