Lieutenant Wayne Willis of the Anniston Police Department has been a firearms instructor for fifteen years.
As a way to raise money for Anniston after school education programs, Lieutenant Willis decided to plan a guns for beginners class.
"This class is driven toward the beginner. We want the beginners who need to learn the safety of the weapon and how it works," says Willis. "We want to focus on getting the weapon out, getting down range and squeezing off targets."
Willis put out a feeler on the Anniston Police Department's Facebook page.
"We were hoping to get maybe 60 people and the response was overwhelming. We had over 700 people interested in taking the class," Willis says.
The class will teach participants the basic fundamentals of using a handgun, as well as a discussion of their rights & civil liabilities.
The course will start in a classroom setting before moving out to the range. The entire course will last roughly two hours.
"We're going to show the weapons and explain to the students how the weapon works and why it works," explains Willis. "From there we will move into the basic nomenclature of the weapon so they know what they're talking about when we get out onto the range."
Although Willis admits the amount of interest surprised him, he understands what's driving it.
"We've become such a violent society, where people are being injured randomly and I think the law abiding citizens are just, they're scared and I think they want a means to protect themselves," Willis says. He adds, "we don't endorse vigilantism by any means, but when a law abiding citizen is given the tools to protect themselves and their family, I think it's going to be a positive thing."
Participants have until August 24 to sign up. You can fill out an application at the Anniston Police Department.
The course costs $20. The money will be donated to Anniston's after school program.
There's a limit of 60 people, taken on a first come, first served basis.
You must be over 21-years-old and pass a background check. The course is September 29.
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