Both here and in the broader media, there’s been a lot of talk about how gun sales have gone through the roof. Further, reports from those selling those guns make it clear that most of the push was from first-time gun buyers.
While we don’t know how much firearm education these folks might have previously gotten–were they military or even Boy Scouts?–we’re all better off assuming that most of those buying the guns have no idea what they’re doing with them, that they haven’t been taught how to use them safely.
That means they need to be trained.
Unfortunately, training classes are kind of no bueno right now, right? Well, the NRA has an answer for that.
From a press release sent out yesterday:
NRA Launches Online Gun Safety Courses
Fairfax, Va. – In response to the growing number of first-time gun buyers during the coronavirus outbreak, the National Rifle Association’s Education & Training Division is pleased to announce the launch of four new online gun safety courses.“These courses will provide an option for first-time gun owners who don’t have the ability to take an NRA certified instructor-led class at their local shooting range at this time,” said Joe DeBergalis, executive director of NRA General Operations. “While there is no replacement for in-person, instructor-led training, our new online classes do provide the basics of firearm safety training for those self-isolating at home.”Those courses include:Gun Safety SeminarNRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course – Distance LearningNRA Basic Rifle Shooting Course – Distance LearningNRA Basic Personal Protection In The Home Course – Distance LearningEach course, lasting from one to eight hours, is available at NRAInstructors.org.Though range time is part of some of the classes (Basics of Pistol Shooting – Distance Learning & Personal Protection in the Home – Distance Learning), there is still a wealth of knowledge available in every online section.“The NRA recommends that all new gun owners seek professional training at the range, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a head start on learning the basics of firearm safety at home. New gun owners, old gun owners, it doesn’t really matter. Taking one of these classes moderated by a certified NRA instructor, can only make you safer, and that’s our primary goal,” DeBergalis added.
Honestly, this is a good thing. While many who are new gun owners likely are unfamiliar with the NRA as anything but a political special interest, much of their work actually revolves around firearm education. Safe gun owners are good for everyone, so the NRA is offering their classes in an online environment.
I urge everyone to let new gun owners know about this opportunity. As noted above, many of these classes also have a range component that can’t really be met online, which sucks, but this is better than nothing.
There is a lot of information that these new gun owners need, so any way we can put that in front of them is a good thing.