Gun course held for new gun users, teaches basic safety steps for firearms

Gun course held for new gun users, teaches basic safety steps for firearms
Published: Aug. 26, 2023 at 7:53 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - With a rise in gun violence around the country, many people are pushing for gun education, including officials in Pima county who had 279 firearm related deaths in 2022, the second highest mark recorded.

Saturday, people of all ages learned how to properly use a firearm and the most crucial safety steps that helps keep anyone from getting hurt in the First Shots gun course.

The course was held by the University of Arizona’s Wildgats, the school’s competitive rifle and pistol team.

The lesson included directions on how to load and hold a firearm, as well as key procedures like pointing a gun in a safe direction. Due to the increase in gun violence, some folks say they were afraid to use a gun, but the course helped them overcome their fear.

“You’d be surprised just how many people don’t understand how a firearm works, how to operate it, or even use it safely,” said Joseph Whitman, the president of the Wildgats.

“I think it’s something important for really anyone to know. And we’re out here helping out, we love to help out… it’s one of our passions.”

Several families attended the course, including the Provencio family. Jennifer and Mitch Provencio have been shooting for quite some time and emphasized the importance of safe shooting to their daughters.

“It’s always a good choice to at least give them some schooling on knowing what it is, how it does and what it performs,” said Mitch Provencio.

“That way they have an idea of the dangers, and at least a way of being safe.”

Students learned how to grip a firearm correctly and how to aim. And while some folks did hit a few bullseyes – members of the Wildgats said the main takeaway and hope is to have more safe gun carriers on the streets in the future.

“The big takeaways are just general safety,” said Connor Knapp, another Wildgats team member.

“We’re not here to make you a perfect shot, you know we’d love to, but the whole thing is if you can safely handle a firearm, that’s what’s really important. You don’t have to love shooting or be good at it, but knowing how a firearm works is really important.”

If you missed today’s class, there’s no need to worry. The next First Shots class is scheduled for January of next year, so be on the lookout for that in a couple of months.

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