Ohio Sheriff’s Office Steps Up, Offers Free Gun Safety Courses

In Mahoning County, Ohio, Sgt. Steven Lindow is on a mission to educate citizens on gun laws, firearm safety and the ins-and-outs of Ohio’s concealed carry laws.

“It’s a great responsibility to carry a weapon on your side and have the ability to take [a life] or prevent a life from being taken,” said Lindow, who will be holding two free classes at public libraries called  “What Every Citizen Should Know About Guns”.

Among the guiding principles for Ohioans carrying guns for self-defense are the following, Lindow said:

The gun owner has a duty to retreat from a confrontation, if he or she can safely do so, everywhere but in his or her own home or vehicle.

Don’t draw a gun unless you’re prepared to shoot it.

Shooting a person is justified only when someone is in immediate danger of death or serious bodily injury.

“Pulling a weapon is your last resort,” Lindow said.

Currently, Ohioans interested in obtaining a concealed carry permit must pass a criminal background check and complete six hours of classroom training and two hours of firing-range training.

Josephine Nolfi, programming director for the Mahoning County library system, said the class is much needed.

“This is a topic that’s very much in the news,” said Nolfi, adding, “The library is in the unique position of being able to provide unbiased, reliable information that does not seek to be controversial in any way.”

“These are just the facts, the rights that people have, the responsibilities that they have when they carry a gun,” Nolfi said. “Whether they choose to carry a gun or not, this will give them information they need to make responsible choices from an expert source.”

Sgt. Lindow, who serves as the firearms training supervisor for the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office, will hold classes at 6:30 p.m. next Monday at the main library, 305 Wick Ave., and at 10 a.m. March 25 at the Austintown branch, 600 S. Raccoon Road. The classes are available to adults only.

SOUND OFF: Does your local sheriff or police department offer classes like this?