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Sheriff's department offers firearms safety course

If you own a gun and you've never taken a firearms safety course, it's imperative that you do, said Rockdale County Sheriff's Office Lt. Mike Sellers.

"You should be able to know how to operate your handgun safely and feel comfortable with it," Sellers said.

To that end, the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office is sponsoring two Citizen's Firearms Safety Courses -- one on Saturday, Sept. 15 and the other on Saturday, Oct. 13 -- at the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office, 911 Chambers Drive. The one-day course will begin at 9 a.m. on both dates and last six hours, and participants should bring their own lunch.

The course is free and open to Rockdale County residents. Those taking the course are required to bring their own modern handgun.

"We are expecting a great response on this," said Sellers, who said classes will be capped at 20 people. "The numbers for firearm carry permits are increasing."

Course topics include basic firearms safety, laws covering the use of deadly force, and a discussion of the identification and operation of the basic parts of the revolver and semi-automatic handguns.

At the end of the classroom portion of the course, participants will have the opportunity to use their firearm at the RCSO firing range under the supervision of certified firearms instructors.

"I am excited that we are able to offer this course again after not being able to for the past few years due to the expansion of the jail and the construction of our new firing range," said Rockdale County Sheriff Jeff Wigington. "I think that participants will find this course to be a rewarding experience."

Requirements for the course are as follows: must be a resident of Rockdale County; must be at least 21 years of age; must not have been convicted of a felony; must bring a legal, modern handgun no smaller than a .380 caliber that will pass instructor inspection for safety and reliability; must bring your own ammunition; and must adhere to all rules of the RCSO firing range, which will be taught during the classroom portion of the course.

Those interested in taking one of the courses can pick up an application in person at the sheriff's office or download a copy from the RCSO website, www.rockdalesheriff.com. Applications include basic participant information, course requirements, the choice of one of the two offered course dates, and a background check.

Completed applications must be turned in at the RCSO, along with a copy of your driver's license. The deadline to turn in applications for both courses is Sept. 10.

For more information about this course, contact Lt. Mike Sellers at 770-278-8038 or email him at mike.sellers@rockdalecounty.org.