Gun training class offered on campus

Alex Eisner

On Saturday, April 3, students will have the chance to take a safety and training class and possibly get their carrying a concealed weapons (CCW) permit upon completion.

The class costs $65 per person and participants should bring their own firearm to the range. The class will begin in the University Center for classroom lecture and then participants will go to the Negaunee Rod and Gun Club. It’s important for participants to remember not to bring their guns to the classroom lecture as they are not allowed on campus.

Fredric Gygi, president of the NMU Sportsmen’s Gun Club and a sophomore criminal justice major, said it’s important for people to know about concealed weapons so they abide by the local and state laws and know when they can and can’t carry.

“You can’t just flash your gun out when someone annoys you,” Gygi said.

Sgt. Charles Pelfrey of the Battle Creek Police Department will be instructing the class, which is sanctioned by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and has been approved by the state of Michigan. There will be five hours of classroom time and three hours spent at the range. In the classroom, participants will learn how to avoid and escape confrontation and about the laws governing concealed weapon carry.

Gygi added that the time at the range is very beneficial for proper shooting techniques.

“The instructor really emphasizes shooting techniques at the range,” Gygi said.

Pelfrey said that once the course is complete, participants will take a test and when they meet all the requirements they get a certificate that they turn in to the county clerk’s office to get their permit.

Sara Smolucha, a freshman nursing and Spanish major, said she’s going to take the course, though she’s not 21 yet, and therefore can’t legally receive the permit.

“I just want to be more familiar with the rules involving carrying concealed weapons,” said Smolucha. “I decided (to take this course) because it’s our second amendment right to be able to carry concealed weapons and I wanted to be able to exercise that right.”

Pelfrey said it’s important for private citizens to know about concealed weapons.

“I’ve been a police officer for 24 years, and the way the crimes are evolving, it’s getting worse,” Pelfrey said. “With the economy people are getting robbed and their homes are getting broken into.”

The Sportsmen’s Gun Club is making this class possible, and it will be the fourth class they’ve offered so far. Pelfrey and Gygi both said that they have not had problems teaching this class on campus from people opposed to concealed weapons.

“People don’t really understand that people who have gone through this class have gone through extensive background checks,” said Pelfrey.

For more information about the concealed weapons class, contact  Gygi at [email protected] If there’s enough interest, an advanced concealed weapons class that focuses more about concealed carry and tactics may be offered.