This past Saturday, Ohioans For Concealed Carry sponsored a concealed handgun license training class for a group of soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 134th Field Artillery unit of the Ohio National Guard who returned from an 11 month deployment to Kuwait on December 9, 2008.
NRA Training Counselor Dan White and NRA Certified Instructors Todd Coughlin and Ken Wilson (all OFCC members) donated their time to work with the group of 14 soldiers and two significant others to provide training to meet the requirements of Ohio law for obtaining a concealed handgun license.
The training began at 7:00 on a cold January Saturday morning. The classroom portion of the training was conducted at the National Guard Armory in Columbus and consisted of ten hours of training. Subject matter included the NRA Basic Pistol program, as well as several supplemental issues specific to concealed carry in Ohio.
After lunch, Sean Culley and Derek DeBrosse (both attorneys as well as members of OFCC) joined the class to cover several aspects of Ohio law pertaining to concealed handgun licenses and use of deadly force.
When the classroom portion was over and everyone had passed the written test, the entire group headed to Black Wing Shooting Center for the range portion of the training. Black Wing graciously donated use of their range for the evening. At the range, NRA Instructors Bill Kelley and Gary Witt (also OFCC members) joined the group.
On the range, six instructors were able to each man one of the shooting stalls while Dan White called the range drills and coordinated ammunition resupply whenever it ran low. The two hours of drills covered warm up drills, double taps, triple taps, and challenged the students with the Mozambique drill. Isosceles and Weaver stances were tried, as well as strong hand two-handed, weak side two-handed, and one handed shooting with both strong and weak hand.
A wide variety of firearms were brought by the students, as well as being made available by some of the instructors. Shooters got to try both semi-automatic and revolvers in calibers including .22, 9mm, .40, .45, and even 10mm. Ken Wilson's single action cowboy revolver was quite a hit.
After the range drills were successfully completed by all shooters, course completion certificates were issue to all the students. Despite all expenses being covered by OFCC, in a gesture of appreciation the soldiers took up a collection which covered the cost of ammunition.
All in all, it was an outstanding class and OFCC was grateful for the opportunity to express our appreciation for the sacrifice made by our fighting men and women as they served their country to protect our freedoms. OFCC thanks all of the instructors for donating their time, as well as Black Wing Shooting Center for not only donating the range, but for keeping the range open for us past closing time. New Albany Shooting Range had also offered use of their range for the training, and we appreciate the offer.
Sergeant L. J. Valentine coordinated the class roster and told OFCC that even though Ohio law counts their military training for applying for a concealed handgun license that he wanted them to have supplemented that military training with civilian training, particularly with regards to Ohio laws regarding carrying a firearm and the use of deadly force. Safe storage of ammunition and firearms was also useful, since in the Guard, firearms not in use for duty are stored with an armorer.
This was a rewarding day for all, and the instructors enjoyed the class as much as the soldiers did. We wish them luck in any future endeavors, and hope they stay safe in any future deployments.