Molly Sambor was one of many learning to use a handgun to the highest ‘caliber’ Saturday morning.
“If you need to protect yourself, you need to be safe doing so,” she said.
She attended the Civilian Concealed Carry Handgun Course at the Fraternal Order of Police in Cambria County.
In Pennsylvania, you don’t have to be trained before purchasing a firearm.
Although, S.E.R.T. Commander and Cambria County Sheriff Candidate Tom Owens said you should learn the basics first.
“I encourage people to take some type of formal training if they decide to be a firearms owner,” he said.
Pennsylvania State Police said during the third quarter of 2020 the record was broken for the number of background checks they’ve completed.
“In the third quarter of 2020, PICS (Pennsylvania Instant Check System) completed a record 406,151 background checks. The highest total previously was 369,807, set in the first quarter of 2013,” according to their article.
“Probably — over the last year — the number of firearms that are being purchased in Pennsylvania has increased. There are a variety of reasons of why people would want to do that,” Owens said.
So, the need for classes like these is also growing,
“We go through a classroom portion where we teach them the law. We teach them firearm safety, the fundamentals of shooting, where they can carry their firearms legally, and where they can’t carry their firearms legally,” he said.
Then participants learn how to handle the firearm before moving outside.
“Once we complete that, we’ll come out to the range. They’ll actually do live fire shooting,” Owens said.
These courses are held once a month through October, giving gun owners a ‘shot’ at learning something new.
“If you’re going to be a firearms owner, you should be a responsible firearms owner.”
Owens said these classes fill up quickly.
Visit the Cambria County S.E.R.T. Facebook Page for more information on how you can register.