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Barton County Sheriff's Department offers conceal carry courses

GREAT BEND, Kansas - Thousands of Kansans have taken a conceal carry course to get their permit, but in the rural parts of the state, finding a class can be a challenge. That's why Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir decided to fill that void and offer it himself.
"Because we are in western Kansas and don't have the large shooting ranges and commercial facilities that a lot of places in the metropolitan areas do "
The sheriff says he knew there were lots of residents who wanted to get their concealed carry license, but didn't realize his class would be so popular.
"We decided that our first class was only gonna be 20 or 25 people, we opened it up and within 48 hours, it was full," added Bellendir.
Teaching gun safety during the course is one of the sheriff's department's main goals.
"Because we need to be safe with our firearms especially in homes when we know people are going to have weapons for protection, and for hunting purposes so they need to be safe," said Lt. Rick Poppe, Barton County Sheriff's Department.
While many of those students may have lots of experience around guns, the instructor says they plan to make sure they cover the basics.
"This is a class that is designed for the very new user, one that's never fired a weapon all the way to someone that is probably very proficient with firearms," added Poppe.
Because the class filled up in only 48 hours, the sheriff says he plans to offer more classes in the spring.


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