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Kentucky Council Considers Free Concealed Weapon Classes
In the wake of recent mass shootings in Colorado and Wisconsin, the Jeffersontown City Council is considering offering free concealed carry licensing classes to residents.
Councilman Ron Powell suggested the idea at a City Council meeting a day after a gunman shot and killed six people at a Sikh temple in Milwaukee on Aug. 5.
Had someone with a gun and a concealed carry license been present at the temple, and at the Aurora, Colo., movie theater where a gunman killed 12 people July 20, the death tolls at both locations might not have been as high, Powell said.
“The only sure way to protect everyone is to have a police officer with them at all times,” said Powell, who has held his concealed carry license for 12 years. “That’s obviously not possible. You can either be a victim or a gun carrier.”
Jeffersontown’s Safety Committee, which consists of council members Carol Pike, Brian Abrams, Pam Ware and Powell, is considering partially or fully subsidizing the cost of the class for the city’s residents.
Classes typically cost around $100, Jeffersontown Police Chief Rick Sanders told the committee.
By law, concealed carry courses must have classroom and firing range instruction. Classroom training typically focuses on gun maintenance and safety, Sanders said. To successfully complete the course, students must shoot a silhouette target 11 out of 20 times with a handgun.
Instructors have held classroom courses at the Jeffersontown Police Department, Sanders said, noting that he was unsure where range instruction took place.
Powell said the range portion of the course does not have to be held at a traditional firing range and can occur in a safe outdoor area, like a farm or open field.
Mayor Bill Dieruf suggested residents initially pay for the classes but then receive a rebate from the city when they supply proof that they obtained their license. While the city might fund residents’ concealed carry classes, it will not subsidize the $60 license fee, the committee agreed.
The cost of the concealed carry program might grow considerably for the city because courses will be free, city clerk Bill Fox said during the meeting.
“If one person from each of our 8,000 households signs up to take the class, and classes are $100, that’s $800,000 we could spend,” Fox told the committee.
Powell suggested offering courses quarterly and capping class sizes at 20 people. Typical concealed carry classes have between 10 and 15 people, Sanders said.
Pike urged the committee to get residents’ opinions on the city offering the course.
“Everyone I’ve talked to has liked the idea,” Pike said.
The safety committee will reconvene at 10 a.m. Monday at City Hall to discuss the course.