Basic weapons safety class offered
May 17, 2012
FORT SILL, Okla.-- Because of an increase in privately owned weapon accidents here, and with AAFES now selling firearms at the Main Exchange, Fort Sill safety officials began offering a basic weapons safety class.
The free training, which will become a quarterly event, had its first class May 11 at the Safety Education Classroom in Building 2774 Ringgold Road. Twenty service members, DA civilians, family members and retirees attended the three-hour training.
"We want to educate the first-time buyers of handguns, as well as re-educate those have been gun owners for a long time," said Garry Gaede, Field Artillery Branch safety manager.
Through a computer slide presentation, Gaede discussed safe handling procedures, eye and hearing protection, weapons storage and the use of alcohol and guns.
Staff Sgt. Roderick Smith, 40th Military Police Detachment, demonstrated how to clear a weapon, and he spoke about misfires and squib loads. Smith also presented on Fort Sill's firearms policy including registration, transport and storage.
Fort Sill Regulation 190-1 "Installation Physical Security and Crime Prevention" Appendix B covers the regulations for privately owned firearms as well as other weapons. To view the policy from the Fires center Fort Sill Intranet home page, on the left click the "Fort Sill Forms and Publications" link, then under Publications click "Fort Sill Publications." And, then under Go Directly to, select "Fort Sill Regulation 190-1." Appendix B covers privately owned firearms on pages 28-34.
Detective Mike Crank, Comanche County Sheriff's Department, spoke about weapons safety as well as the state's concealed carry firearms law, which drew much interest from the attendees. He also answered questions about the use of deadly force in home invasions.
Smith, Crank and Staff Sgt. James Moran, 40th MP Det., then worked with individual attendees who brought their handguns, without ammunition, and learned the safe handling of their specific weapons. This included loading and unloading, clearing, and disassembly and reassembly for cleaning.
Derick Gathright, Reynolds Army Community Hospital Medical Boards adminstrator, attended and brought his Walther PPK .380 semi-auto pistol.
"I attended because it's always good to get additional and reinforced safety training," said Gathright, a retired sergeant first-class. "I did learn something, and I thought it was a pretty good basic course."
The next class is in August. To register, or for more information, call Gaede at 442-2266/2265.