Law enforcement agencies offer handgun safety courses

CONYERS -- To meet the growing demand from residents and show support for the Second Amendment, Rockdale County Sheriff Eric Levett and Conyers Police Chief Gene Wilson are partnering to offer several Citizens Firearms Safety Courses that will start in April.

Rockdale County residents can apply to participate in the first course to be held on Saturday, April 13. The class will be limited to the first 20 qualified applicants who apply on a first-come, first-served basis. Those who do not make it into this class will be placed a waiting list for other upcoming classes. The one-day course will begin at 9:30 a.m. and end around 3:30 p.m. Participants are asked to bring their own lunch.

Course topics will include basic firearms safety, gun laws, and basic nomenclature of revolver and semi-automatic handguns. At the end of the classroom portion of the course, participants will get the chance to use their firearms at the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office firing range under the supervision of certified firearms instructors from both the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office and the Conyers Police Department.

"With the recent gun control discussions and the local increase in firearm permits being issued, I am pleased that we are able to offer this course for the residents of Rockdale County," Levett said. "This course will help participants better understand current gun laws and learn ways to be more responsible with guns."

"This cooperative effort between the two departments comes at an opportune time," Wilson said. "With gun purchases and interest in gun ownership on the rise, this kind of course is needed to educate citizens on gun safety and responsibility."

Participants in the courses must meet the following requirements:

-- Resident of Rockdale County.

-- At least 21 years of age.

-- No felony convictions.

-- Provide a legal, modern handgun no smaller than a .380 caliber that will pass instructor inspection for safety and reliability.

-- Provide own ammunition.

-- Adhere to all rules of the RCSO firing range, which will be taught during the classroom portion of the course.

Those interested in taking the course may pick up an application in person at the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office from the Warrants & Civil Division or request an emailed copy. To request an application, please call Wanda Wypasek at 770-278-8058 or email wanda.wypasek@rockdalecounty.org.

Applications include basic participant information, course requirements and a background check. Completed applications must be turned in at the RCSO to the Warrants & Civil Division, along with a copy of your driver's license. The Citizens Firearms Safety Courses are free of charge. The deadline to turn in an application is April 3.