Sumter sheriff conducts women's gun class - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sumter sheriff conducts women's gun class

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

Americus, GA (WALB) - The Sumter County Sheriff has gotten lots of calls from women who want to learn how to safety use guns.

So Sheriff Pete Smith is answering the call and holding a training session for them.

Smith says it's like driving a car, you can just get in, turn the key and go, but that doesn't mean you know the safe aspects of driving.

Having a weapon in your home doesn't mean you know how to safely handle it and he says it's often women who don't know how to properly handle a gun, so he's giving them the opportunity to learn.

Sumter County Deputy Sharron Johnson is a sharp shooter, but for many women, just picking up a gun can be intimidating.

"It's a dangerous, scary weapon," said student Diane Brown.

With home invasions on the rise, The Sumter County Sheriff's Office decided to arm women with better knowledge of firearms.

"What we want them to have is a safe working knowledge of being able to load and unload a hand gun," said sheriff Smith.

The classroom portion will include information on gun laws, how to clean a weapon, and load it.

"What we call a hot range that means it will fire," said Lt. Andy King.

They'll also be on the range teaching women how to properly fire their gun.

"Always keep it down range. Get you're grip on your weapon, what I want you to do right here is get you're grip high," said King.

It's likely many women attending the class on Saturday will be intimidated about firing a gun, but deputies hope by the time they finish with the class they'll feel more confident about protecting themselves in their own home.

"I though it would be a good idea to learn the safe way of protecting myself and my family in case of an intruder," said Brown.

Sheriff Pete Smith is quick to caution you should never take matters into your own hands, but says it's also good to have a working knowledge of a weapon if it's going to be in the house.

"You're looking at his third button right there, that's where you want to shoot and if you shoot a little low that's fine, it's still in the vital area, we want to stay in the vital area," said King. 

The class is free, and you don't have to be from Sumter County to attend. You're asked to take your own weapon, preferably a hand gun, and 30 rounds of ammunition.

Registration for the class begins at 8:00 Saturday morning and the class starts at 9:00. The class will be held at the Sumter County Agriculture Center.

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