Free Home Firearm Safety Classes for 1,000
January 6, 2020
by: Frank Tait
Provide FREE Home Firearm Safety classes to save lives from "gun deaths" caused by ignorance and carelessness. Sounds like a great deal - right?
We secured funding from a foundation to provide FREE NRA Home Firearm Safety classes for 1,000 individuals and the cooperation of a local 501c3 to administer the program. To make this program work, we needed to find "credible messengers" to promote and provide the training and a place to hold the classes. We want to focus classes into urban areas where it can make a difference. Southwest Philadelphia seemed like a great place to start.
We offered this to politicians in Southeast PA in August at their townhalls and in personal conversations, thinking that they would be interested in providing a free service to their voters that could save lives. We made the offer to: Senator Pat Toomey (PA), Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (PA5), Congresswoman Madeline Dean (PA4), Senator Anthony Hardy Williams; Senator Tom Killion; and, Representative Jennifer O'Mera. We also offered this to supposed "gun safety" groups: Ceasefire PA, Gunsense and Moms Demand Action - PA. We are still waiting for any response from them other than a grin. Saving lives through education must not be important to them - or their animosity toward the NRA is more important to them than the lives that could be saved.
So - we moved on and through providence, came to know Darius "Street Preacher" Foster from the Baltimore/DC area in Bowie MD (pictured to the left). Darius is pastor of Solid Faith Ministries and Outreach Center, CEO of Divine Protection Services and is a USCCA Instructor. Darius is definitely a credible messenger to the community for this program. Darius partners with Maryland Small Arms for a facility to teach the classes.
Dan McMonigle (another NRA Training Counselor in the last picture) and I went to Bowie in early December and conducted a training class for Darius his 7 member training team to make them NRA Certified Instructors for the Home Firearm Safety curriculum.
Darius and his team hit the ground running. They provided 14 home firearm safety classes for 108 people in their first month of operation! Their last class on January 4 had 26 students. Early Registration for the January 11 class is strong and courses are being scheduled for February given the intense interest. Feedback from the class was fantastic, "It was fun", 'This class was amazing". Students appreciated the professional instruction and the hands on time to learn the basic knowledge, skills and attitude for selecting, safely handling, storing and cleaning pistols, rifles and shotguns, the responsibilities of being a gun owner and opportunities for further training.
We are looking to expand this program into other areas and the Foundation funds getting the training team certified, the course materials, renting space to conduct the class and provides a course administration fee to make it worth the instructor teams time. We will be approaching the NRA foundation in the near future to see if we can use this pilot to expand across the country to have the NRA lead in firearm safety.