Gun Safety Courses Filling Up

6:49 PM, Jan 19, 2013   |    comments
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WHEATFIELD, N.Y. - There's a long wait already underway to get into some gun safety courses in Western New York.

In some cases, these training classes are required for people to get a gun permit and a weapon.

With the NY SAFE ACT passed in Albany this week and recent gun violence, getting a spot in these classes is not so certain.

2 On Your Side's Jeff Preval took a trip to the Niagara Gun Range in Wheatfield. It's the only public indoor range in Western New York. It also sells guns and bullets and offers the courses.

According to Firearms Training of Western New York, state pistol permit courses are required in Niagara, Erie, Orleans and Genesee counties. The classes don't allow any hands on training.

And during the courses, everything about operating and caring for a weapon is covered.

An instructor of the courses says usually about twelve people take the class. Recently, that number has tripled to about 36.

"The New York State pistol permit classes are booked right now, until about the end of February and I don't think it's going to be more than a few days before that class is booked and we're going to be looking into March already," said said Dennis Deasy, owner of the Niagara Gun Range.

The class that Deasy holds is 55 dollars. He schedules two or three of them a month and they're four hours long.

"It's just been nuts, it's almost like everyone is preparing for the end of the world, they want it, they want it now," said Deasy, "the calendar is pretty well booked."

Deasy adds that the average gun owner, law enforcement officers, and people of all eligible ages to get in the courses are in them.

Niagara Gun Range also has a gun store. We were in Deasy's shop earlier this week and gun owners continue to shop heavily. Some of Deasy's shelves are bare, with popular rifles and handguns gone.

All of this has been a result of recent acts of gun violence and debate about how it should be dealt with.


On Tuesday, the SAFE ACT was enacted. The law has many components, including a ban on internet sales of ammo, background checks on private purchases and permits that need to be renewed every five years. President Obama also signed a series of executive orders intended to reduce gun violence.

Meantime, Deasy says lawmakers should crackdown more on illegal guns coming across state lines and start requiring safety courses to curb the gun violence.

"Reach a minimum score, a minimum level of proficiency before they're given a permit to go out and buy a gun," he said.

On Saturday morning, 215 people are expected to go to a pistol permit safety course in Elma. That session will be hosted by EMPact America, which is an emergency preparedness organization.

The class has reached its max and will likely be the largest free firearms training session ever in Western New York.

Many of those people are trying to get their permits and a handgun.

The session is being held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Jamison Business Park, 611 Jamison Road.


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