HACC to provide safety classes to gun owners

At HACC's Harrisburg campus, students take a wide range of classes but will soon have access one more class to choose from — handgun safety training.

Up until now, HACC offered firearms classes but only to people in law enforcement. Now, civilian students who are gun owners can take them.

There are two parts to the course, beginning with a classroom portion, taught by Dauphin County Senior Deputy District Attorney, Stephen Zawisky.

“[They are taught] the laws of self-defense. When they can use force, when they can use deadly force,” said Zawisky. “When they can carry a gun, when they need to have a license to carry a gun.”

Then, students will get to try their hand with their hand gun and learn how to do so, safely.

“You know, if it's not handled properly or if it's left in a place where somebody who's not trained, could take it — small child, adult, teenager could take it and by 'accident' hurt themselves or somebody else,” said Tom Olsen, the marksmanship and safety instructor.

It is not required for Pennsylvania gun owners to take such a course but HACC wanted to give gun owners the option.

“I think it's a responsible thing for a gun owner to learn about that because it's a deadly weapon,” said Olsen.

HACC officials said the new firearms safety course has nothing to do with any of the recent violence across the country, in Central Pennsylvania or even at HACC: the course has been in the works for years.

HACC students said they would like to give the class a shot.

“Actually, I would be interested in taking that I've been thinking about it the past few weeks,” said Melinda Toole, a HACC Student

The first class is on March 18. Each course is split into two, four-hour sessions. The cost is $150.

For more information, visit http://www.hacc.edu/PublicSafetyCenter/upload/Basic-Handgun.pdf

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