Kentucky sheriff branches out into gun training

AP Photo/Michael Hill

We often hear gun control activists complain that permitless carry laws lead to countless citizens walking around with a firearm and no training on how to be safe and competent with one. The truth is, however, that most folks who choose to carry a firearm for self-defense want to be comfortable and confident in their ability to protect themselves, and just because they aren’t required to obtain a government-issued permission slip before exercising their right to bear arms doesn’t mean they’re not getting training on their own.


There are plenty of firearms instructors working full or part-time in permitless carry states, and they’re not hurting for business. In fact, the sheriff of McLean County, Kentucky is now doing double duty; serving as the rural county’s chief law enforcement officer while offering instruction and training on the side.

It was about 12 years ago when McLean County Sheriff Kenneth Frizzell was working as deputy sheriff when he came across a woman that was hired to work court security that never held a handgun before.

“She was very unsure about it; and even though they didn’t carry weapons that time over there, they still had to complete a firearms course (which) they went through in Richmond for the court security academy,” he said.

Frizzell decided to take out the employee “for a few hours” to show her the ropes.

When she ended up taking the course, Frizzell said she scored in the upper 90%ile.

“When she came back, she was super happy with her score (and) she said, ‘You know, you really ought to start (thinking) about maybe teaching others,’ ” Frizzell said.

On Saturday, he will debut his business — Frizzell Firearms Training — in Sacramento with his first Carrying Concealed Deadly Weapons (CCDW) class, which helps people apply for their permit.

That would be Sacramento, Kentucky, not Sacramento, California, where unfortunately the sheriff’s sign-off is still needed before residents can lawfully bear arms in self-defense. Kentucky, on the other hand, is one of 27 permitless carry states, but even though training isn’t required before legal gun owners can lawfully carry, there’s still plenty of interest in going through the training course.


The CCDW class will be in accordance with the curriculum set by the state, Frizzell said, while other courses he will offer — beginner, advanced and tactical training — will be based on his own experiences and things he would like to teach others.

“We live in a day and age where things are rapidly changing,” Frizzell said. “A lot of times, I know people say, ‘Well, there’s law enforcement and things of that nature;’ but the truth about it is (that) we are first responders. We’re always responding to a situation, which takes at least minutes to respond to a situation that’s going to be over, sometimes, in a matter of seconds.

“It’s important what people do to prepare to protect themselves in their homes, maybe in public … and so forth; and in saying that, I think it’s like anything when you go to carry a firearm or anything that can cause harm to someone else, if need be, that you need to be efficient and trained with that device.”

Frizzell said the new entity will serve more “like an extension” to his existing position in the county.

“(Being the sheriff) will always come first because that is the main priority,” he said. “Basically, I want to pass on the knowledge that I have gained over the many years in law enforcement (and) the different trainings that I’ve been through, … and be more prepared and protect themselves, their loved ones and others if and when (a) situation arose.”

I’m glad to see the sheriff recognize that when seconds count law enforcement may be minutes away, and that he wants residents to be able to protect themselves from harm. It’s commendable that Frizzell is giving up some of his downtime to help others become more proficient and responsible with their guns, especially in a rural community where formal firearms instruction may be hard to come by. Even in places where gun ownership is common there’ll always be a need for instructors like Frizzell, because not everyone has access to a friend or family member who can provide them instruction.


I have no idea how many of the 400-or-so residents of Sacramento, Kentucky will be taking part in Frizzell’s first course this weekend, but I hope it’s a strong turnout and the start of a successful side gig for the sheriff. Education and training is a good thing. It’s the government mandates that are an affront to our fundamental rights.

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