“Shooting is fun. It’s a stress reliever for me,” said Hogansville Police Sgt. Robert Wolfe during the introduction of the department’s first civilian firearms training. “For those who have never shot, you might find it enjoyable.”
Saturday’s training was held a month after the completion of the new HPD firearms complex. Wolfe began with a basic firearms safety presentation which discussed a beginning level of gun safety. The presentation included how to safely handle a gun, the components of different guns and how to safely unload and load guns, while reiterating the importance of keeping your hands off the trigger until you’re ready to fire.
“Guns don’t accidentally go off,” said Wolfe. “A finger has to go on the trigger in order for it to fire. Keep your hands off the trigger until you’re ready to use it.”
Wolfe explained the importance of using a firearm for defense and only if someone is doing something that will hurt you. An attendee at the training asked about using a firearm for someone coming onto his property, which Wolfe informed is not a valid reason to use a firearm. He described the principle of “means (ability), opportunity, and jeopardy” which gives validity in using firearms for defense.
After the presentation, the attendees headed outside to the firearms complex where they were taught how to load, shoot and unload a .22 caliber long rifle conversion and a .40 caliber Glock 22.
They were first allowed to shoot five rounds of the rifle and then three rounds of the handgun by aiming at designated targets. Wolfe said that they like to train with the smaller guns, such as the .22 long rifle because it helps build confidence in using a larger more powerful gun such as the Glock 22, which police commonly use.
“This was a great experience,” said Dee Bradley, who will be graduating from the HPD Police Academy on Tuesday. “Getting hands on training was really an awakening experience.”
Wolfe also extended the offer to the citizens that they can bring in their personal weapon to the HPD for officers to check and guide them on how to use their weapons correctly.