While gun control activists are using the current coronavirus pandemic to push for the closure of gun stores and scolding Americans who’ve purchased a firearm for the first time, Second Amendment organizations are pushing a true gun safety agenda. In the Philadelphia suburbs of Bucks County, for instance, Sheriff Milton Warrell recently offered a free online training course for new gun owners with the help of the NRA.
After some technical difficulties were sorted out, hundreds of people tuned in to the Facebook livestream for the training.
Sheriff Milton Warrell of the Bucks County Sheriff’s Office says recently, their daily number of licenses to carry issuance have doubled.
“A large percentage of the ones we are issuing are brand new carrying licenses to people that have never had one before in their life. That’s a brand new issuance,” Warrell said.
This pushed him to organize the training in partnership with the NRA to help new gun owners get educated on proper gun safety.
“Gun safety, gun storage, how to clean your weapon, proper storage of it,” he said.
Kudos to Sheriff Warrell for doing this instead of wringing his hands and ordering gun stores to close over the prospect of a lot of Americans exercising their rights for the first time, which was the reaction of Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva in California. Warrell’s being proactive and protective of the rights of residents, and it sounds like the virtual training course was well-attended and well-received.
Of course there were a few technical issues, especially at the beginning of the online course (which you can watch here), but the sheriff’s office says they plan on hosting another virtual class for those who had any problems accessing the live stream.
I know sheriffs around the country are likely pretty busy at the moment, but the more we see of training events like this, the better. Not only is it a valuable service to ensure that new gun owners get the basics of safely handling, storing, and cleaning their firearms, but it’s a great opportunity for local sheriffs to engage with their constituents as well as show support for their Second Amendment rights.
Just as some gyms are bringing their classes online, we need to be looking at ways to do the same with basic firearms safety courses. Whether it’s offered by the local sheriff or the local range, there are likely hundreds of thousands of new gun owners around the country, and it’s important that they have access to the basics of gun ownership. Not all of them will be able to reach out to a long-time gun owner for advice. Heck, a lot of these new gun owners may not know any other gun owners at all. An online course isn’t a perfect substitute for a few hours at the range and in-person instruction, but it’s definitely better than simply telling people not to buy a gun, which is the only kind of “training” that gun control groups are offering.