McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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January 28, 2013

Vets to offer free gun class for teachers

McALESTER — Teachers in Pittsburg County can learn to use a firearm for free in February.

A veterans group plans to offer a free firearm safety class for teachers and staff of Pittsburg County schools, according to Alton Smith of the Disabled American Veterans in Krebs.

The class is offered by the DAV and will be taught by Smith  at 8 a.m. on Feb. 16, at the DAV office,125 S. Main St. in Krebs.

Smith said he’s a certified police firearms instructor and he usually charges $60 for the class, but for the school employees there will not be a charge.

“We just want to help educate the school’s staff and help them get certified, if they are interested,” Smith said.

Smith said firearms and 50 rounds of ammunition will be supplied but attendees can bring their own .22 to .45 caliber firearms if they wish.

“They need wear a baseball cap and bring their own ear protection and eye protection,” he said.

Oklahoma state law does not allow for teachers to carry weapons in the class room however in Oklahoma state Rep. Mark McCullough (R-Sapula) said he plans to introduce legislation to change that.

“We cannot continue to be shackled by politically correct, reflexive, anti-gun sentiment in the face of the obvious — our schools are soft targets,” McCullough told the Tulsa World.

“It is incredibly irresponsible to leave our schools undefended,” McCullough said.

Meanwhile Rep. Brian Renegar (D-Blanco) said he disagrees with proposed legislation.

“We would be better served providing security guards at the schools,” Renegar said.

“The teachers need to be in the classrooms while the security guards could be canvassing the school.”

Meanwhile, Smith said Pittsburg County school educators and other school employees who would like information about the class can call him at 918-421-0922.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.

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