Conceal carry classes see a new kind of student - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Conceal carry classes see a new kind of student

Conceal carry instructors say they are seeing more women in classes. Conceal carry instructors say they are seeing more women in classes.
SCOTT COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Instructors say they are seeing a new kind of student in conceal carry classes: women. Whether the ladies decide to own a handgun or not, they feel it's time to learn how. The other interesting twist? Many of these women have never even touched a handgun before. 

Heartland News' Holly Brantley also enrolled in the course to get the full experience of learning firearms safety and laws in the classroom and on the range. As she took the course, she followed the experience of other women who like herself, were mainly unfamiliar with firearms of all kinds.

"When I was in college I would have never worried about this at all," said music teacher Delisa Sitze of Dexter. 

"It something happens, I want to know what to do," said Anita Haley of Bloomfield. "You could save your own life or someone else's." 

Both say with today's mass shootings, random violence, and what feels like a growing prevalence of weapons, they felt the knowledge and skill to be vital.    

"As a woman it's that word empowerment," said Sitze. 

"You have to be ready for this," said firearms instructor Kevin Glaser. "You have to have the right mind set." 

Glaser says he's seeing more students like Sitze, Haley, and Brantley in all classes across southeast Missouri. Other instructors also note the trend.

"They main thing we stress is the safety aspect," said Glaser. "We try to make it as comfortable as possible." 

There is a four hour classroom session, and then it is on to the range. To pass you must hit the target 15 out of 20 times with two different weapons: a semi-automatic and a revolver. 

"I feel much more comfortable now," said Sitze. "I was pretty nervous. I'm a better shot than I thought and it's not as hard as I expected." 

Brantley noted she felt just as Sitze did. Both qualified. Brantley hitting 39 of 40 rounds and Sitze with 40 of 40. Again, only 15 hits on target were needed with each weapons. 

"It's safer taking the class and knowing how to operate the firearm," said Sitze. 

Glaser says he's not just seeing more women but also men considering carrying a handgun who never thought they would like our Heartland News photographer Robert Foote, and Loyd Rice, a salesman and father from Dexter. 

"In today's society I wanted to be able to take action if necessary," said Rice. "I'm not going to start packing heat everywhere I go, but if the situation arises I want to be able to be ready. "

Both Foote and Rice were 40 for 40 rounds.

"There should be a certain fear, but respect for the weapon," said Glaser.  "When you look at the number of accidentally shootings it's scary so that's really the emphasis behind so many of these courses is the safety aspect of it." 

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