Legal gun owners learn safety through virtual reality training

Legal gun owners learn safety through virtual reality training
The class uses virtual reality simulations to teach people how to handle threatening situations.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Legal gun owners are learning how to safely and realistically handle a life-threatening situation thanks to a virtual reality training.

U.S. Law Shield of Kentucky, with the Virtual Tactical Academy, put legal gun owners in a simulated situation that portrays reality. Participants have a split second to make a decision on how to handle the crisis.

“I thought I had a good idea of what to expect but as the instructor pointed out, there are 800 scenarios and that was not like the other ones,” Taylor Lee, a participant and local gun shop owner, said. “And that’s what you see in the real world.”

Lee tried a scenario after three others. His scenario looked like a man was robbing or assaulting a woman in the car.

In the simulation, Lee drew his gun quickly, giving verbal commands to the person on the screen, but waited to shoot.

“Once a weapon came out and that became evident, that’s when it turned from being, ‘I don’t know what’s happening here,' and 'OK someone may be getting hurt.’ And that’s when I decided to fire to preserve life,” Lee said.

Virtual Tactical Academy President Austin Davis has 822 different scenarios programmed. For this class, he had 25 on hand. With the click of a button, Davis can change the outcome of a scenario while it’s happening.

“Even if I show the same scenario, I can have them pull a gun or a coffee cup, not comply, comply,” Davis said.

During Thursday’s training, participants went through various scenarios, including someone inside a home, someone stopping another person outside near a building asking for money before becoming aggressive, and what appeared to be a man assaulting or robbing someone in a car.

“Everybody thinks they have an idea of how they will deal with a situation, but as the training demonstrated tonight no one is ever quite ready for it,” Lee said.

After each scenario, Davis talked with each participant about making a 911 call following a life-threatening situation.

“It's really hard to have realistic training when there are real bullets involved,” Davis said. “This kind of training can teach you the five skillsets you need: knowing if and when you can shoot someone, if you can give a verbal command, if you can put cover and conceal between you and the thing that wants to hurt you, practicing your 911 call and how to interact with police when they show up.”

U.S. Law Shield of Kentucky District Manager Tim Collins said the most important thing for legal gun owners is knowing your rights and getting training.

“If you're going to be carrying a gun you need to carry it responsibly and that comes with all the training also with education too,” Collins said.

U.S. Law Shield holds workshops to help gun owners know their rights during life-threatening situations. For more information, click or tap here.

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