Handling a firearm is more than just pointing at something and pulling the trigger. It's a personal responsibility to yourself and everyone around you.
With changing laws and growing debate over 2nd Amendment rights and firearm safety, many are turning to concealed and open carry practices. For some states, permits to carry a firearm on your person aren't required, but in other states, like Nebraska, not only is a permit required, but residents have to attend a firearm training class before being able to apply.
READ MORE: Concealed Carry Laws: When and where can I legally carry in the tri-state
Located about a mile outside of Jackson, Nebraska off of a dirt road on Highway 20, the team at Rev-Tac Firearms Instruction is well-known in the tri-state for their dedication to teaching people of all ages the safety and responsibility that comes with handling firearms of all sizes. One of their most popular classes is a concealed carry class, also known as a firearms training course, which teaches teaching firearm safety, rules, regulations and personal responsibility to anyone wanting to carry a handgun on their person or just get more comfortable handling a pistol.
"When you talk to people who have carried for a while, you'll hear that they say that they'll actually go out of their way to avoid the fight, not get into the fight, and that's because they're carrying a gun," Tim Grover, owner and instructor at Rev-Tac said. "They understand the magnitude of carrying a firearm for personal defense."
Through a Rev-Tac concealed carry class, participants are first taken through class instruction to learn the ins and outs of concealed carry laws in the tri-state, the basic mechanics of a handgun and how to properly hold, load and handle a pistol.
"Rev-Tac firearm instruction is passionate about quality training through instructors who are certified and experienced in personal defense," said Tim Grover. "All our instructors have a real-world background in personal defense."
Following class instruction, participants get their first opportunity at handing their weapon, but everything through this point is down to the very basics.
"You know the basics are the basics, no matter what firearm you're shooting. ~ Firearms Instructor Howard Hulshof"
You know, no matter the person, the basics are the same." Firearms instructor Howard Hulshof teaches a few classes a year at Rev-Tac, showing attendees how to properly load and unload their weapon, the proper stance and grip, where to safely point the gun barrel and a few things unique to Rev-Tac instruction, like drawing from a holster.
"We allow some of the things that some other gun ranges don't do," Hulshof said, "drawing from a holster and we work on more real-world scenarios that we help people with."
These classes are very hands-on, with Hulshof and Grover spending time with each participant throughout the day, answering any questions, adjusting stance and grip and making sure people are being as safe as possible.
"What we usually do with it is when you know when people are shooting and they're struggling," Hulshof said. "That's where we kind of try to drill down into what they're doing and what they're doing wrong and we can help tweak the basics."
"I would say this class is great for beginners," said Jenna Kittler, a class participant. "I mean especially with me, I've only shot a gun a handful of times, but they're very patient with me, very thorough with teaching me. It was like a lot of one on one, so that was great too. You didn't just get pushed to the side, they were, they were great that way as well."
For Nebraska residents in the course, you also have to take a 30 question multiple-choice test before receiving paperwork to apply for a concealed carry permit as required by Nebraska law.
Not everyone who takes a firearms training course like this one does so to get their permit to carry. Some use this class as an opportunity to learn about firearm safety and laws surrounding concealed carry from trained professionals.
"We still have a lot of people show up, point their guns at other people, whether they realize it or not, we have people still keeping their fingers on the trigger when they shouldn't be, you know," Grover said.
"These are things that unless somebody coaches you on this, you're gonna continue to do this and then your kids watch you do this and they do the same thing and, and this is how firearm accidents are happening is this carelessness."
A firearms training course is the first step in obtaining a concealed carry permit for many people, and while some states don't require this class, it is available for anyone who can legally handle a firearm.
The next step, should you want a permit to carry, is to apply with your respective states.
Rev-Tac offers a large variety of courses, allowing Siouxlanders to expand on their knowledge and training with different firearms. They also offer classes on survival training and field medical response.
For more on Rev-Tac and what they offer, visit their website and follow them on Facebook.
SEE THE VIDEO
Web articles from my time at Siouxland News.