No one should handle a loaded handgun without training.
In 2015, the state of Kansas irresponsibly abandoned a requirement to receive training and a permit to carry a concealed firearm. A Kansas Statehouse dominated at the time by the extreme right approved allowing residents at least 21 years of age who can legally own a gun to carry it without a permit or eight-hour training course previously required.
When signing the new legislation, Gov. Sam Brownback practically admitted it was a bad idea, but still endorsed the reckless change.
“I strongly encourage anyone who has a gun — for protection or sport — to take advantage of existing safety training courses,” Brownback said at the time.
On that count, he was correct. Sensible Kansans interested in toting a loaded gun should indeed take advantage of training opportunities.
Garden City Community College has such offerings.
The GCCC Department of Public Safety will have a Kansas Concealed Carry class from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26.
The course is required for all Kansas citizens who do plan to apply for a concealed carry permit. Even though the permit isn’t required, many Kansans seek one because licenses still are required in many states.
GCCC’s Department of Public Safety also will offer a “Women on Target” class from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16. The course will focus on skills ranging from cleaning and storing guns to developing shooting skills.
Benefits of such training opportunities are many, starting with a needed emphasis on safety, first and foremost. Being prepared on how to react, make good judgments and mitigate risk when carrying a loaded weapon can be a lifesaver.
Training sessions also help participants learn about particulars of various firearms, and laws on concealed carry that vary from state to state.
Many law-abiding, well-intentioned Kansans feel better with a gun for personal protection. Those who are responsible shouldn’t feel competent carrying a loaded weapon without training.
Gun owners prove they’re responsible by being educated. There’s no good reason to pass on training designed to protect people who carry handguns and others in their midst.