GPD conducts gun safety training with seniors

Published 9:53 am Friday, June 5, 2009

Greenville police officers spent Thursday morning educating patrons of the Camellia Senior Center about proper firearm use and safety.

Rain kept those attending from practicing their newly learned skills on the Greenville firing range, but Lt. Anthony Barganier promised a make-up day. Capt. Randy Courtney conducted the training alongside his investigation team. Courtney identified the various firearms available on the gun market, discussing pistol permits and laws that govern their use.

Courtney also offered insight into the firearms that make good personal defense weapons.

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The shotgun, for instance.

“Law enforcement like it because it’s intimidating,” said Courtney. “When I was gone for three months last year I didn’t leave my wife a pistol, I left her a shotgun. You pretty much can’t miss when you shoot a shotgun.”

Courtney explained that trained police officers often hit just four out of 10 shots when firing their weapons under duress.

“And they shoot often,” said Courtney. “How many do you think you’re going to hit? That’s why the shotgun is so good for personal defense.”

Attendees were encouraged to bring their own weapons, which instructors cleaned as a courtesy. Mary Braden, Director of Senior Services, brought her .357 Magnum.

“I have a .22 caliber but I can’t hit a thing with it,” she said. “But I can hit something with this (.357) one.”

Many of the women who attended are widowed and live alone, said Braden, so the tips on personal defense were especially welcome.