There’s owning a gun. And there’s knowing how to own a gun.
Shooting instructor Rhonda Allen hopes owners will choose the latter.
Allen hopes that if there is a spike in gun sales in response to President Obama’s gun control initiative Tuesday that it can produce educated handgun users.
“Most of them (new students) are beginners as far as not having had formal instruction,” said Allen, who with husband and fellow instructor Barry Allen operates the Academy of Personal Defense & Security in Wendell. “A lot of people have been exposed or have owned guns all their lives but don’t understand or see the need for it (training). A lot of people are getting more serious about training. Women especially are taking training more seriously. … They tend to want to learn correctly, and we’re seeing a lot more of that.”
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Classes, which are limited to 12 students, fill quickly. A Jan. 16 National Rifle Association Basic Pistol course has filled, but openings are available in future months.
The husband-wife duo also are an NRA-appointed training counselor team able to teach people who want to become instructors.
“I’ve also had The Well-Armed Woman instructor certification course, which is how to teach women,” Rhonda Allen said. “We think differently; we learn differently.”
Because of that, some classes are for women only. A hands-on NRA Women On Target instructional seminar is offered monthly, as is The Well-Armed Woman defensive training.
Courses for men and women progress from introductory to concealed carry to personal defense inside and outside the home.
But learning safe gun handling and good marksmanship is more than obtaining a certificate. It requires a solid foundation of instruction and lots of practice.
“They need formal instruction before they start to practice so they’re practicing the right things,” Allen said.
Boat show: Local, regional and national experts, including 2015 FLW Angler of the Year Scott Martin, will speak during the Bass and Saltwater Fishing Show at the N.C. State Fairgrounds Friday to Sunday. Tickets are $5-$8; online discount ends Thursday. Go to www.bassandsaltwaterfishingexpo.com.
Public comment: The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is holding a series of meetings on 2016-17 hunting, fishing and trapping regulations and other proposals.
The remaining hearings each begin at 7 p.m.:
▪ Thursday, District 6, South Stanly High School, Norwood
▪ Tuesday, District 9, Haywood Community College, Clyde
▪ Wednesday, District 8, Western Piedmont Community College, Morganton
▪ Jan. 14, District 7, Elkin High School, Elkin
▪ Jan. 19, District 1, Swain Auditorium, Edenton
▪ Jan. 20, District 2, Craven Community College, New Bern
▪ Jan. 21, District 3, Nash Community College, Rocky Mount
Comment ends Jan. 25. The commission will vote Feb. 11. Go to www.ncwildlife.org.
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