National Rifle Association instructor Mike Nies demonstrates stance and grip during the Personal Protection in the Home course Saturday at Camp Gibbs. The day long course was filled to capacity. Firearm safety, Michigan self defense law and range time were part of the session. Graduates are qualified to apply for a Michigan concealed pistol permit.
CAMP GIBBS—Instructors qualified 24 more people to apply for concealed carry pistol permits during a class at Camp Gibbs Jan. 19.
“It was a good class,” NRA instructor Sandie Nies said. “In this class, everyone knew how to shoot.”
Instructors need someone to teach the legal portion of the class as the program moves forward. Michigan law requires that person to be a lawyer, police officer or individual with special certification.
The Iron County team started offering the Personal Defense Inside the Home courses last year and has issued 46 certificates since, Nies said. That class was full, and Nies said students already are lining up for the next offering.
The group plans to offer another course in March, Nies added.
Meanwhile, a Dickinson County instructor is focusing his efforts on providing training for school personnel in an effort to shore up protection for children.
“I absolutely love it,” Tony Erickson said of response from teachers toward the program. “I’m getting teachers from all over the Upper Peninsula, from Munising to Ironwood.”
On Jan. 26, Erickson will provide the Personal Protection inside the Home course to 42 teachers. That course allows a Michigan resident to obtain a concealed pistol permit. On Jan. 27, he teaches the second level course, Personal Protection Outside the Home. That course would qualify successful students to obtain the enhanced permit that Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed in December.
“The response has been unbelievable,” Erickson said. “I’ve had to turn teachers away from the class. We’re already scheduling more teachers-only classes.”
Since offering free training to teachers, Erickson has been inundated by inquiries from throughout the country. On Jan. 17, he spent traveled downstate discussing the offer with school officials from Detroit and Lansing. On Jan. 18, he was inter-viewed by a reporter from the British Broadcasting Corp.
Despite Gov. Rick Snyder’s veto of legislation that would have allowed persons with additional training to carry a con-cealed weapon in school, that option remains open to every district. “School boards are authorized to permit concealed carry on their property,” Erickson said.
Legislation loosening restrictions on firearms has been reintroduced in the Michigan House of Representatives. House Bill 4009 and Senate Bill 0058 would eliminate pistol free zones statewide.
U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek (R-Mich) released the following statement after the Obama Administration announced its plan to pursue sweeping new gun control measures:
“Law-abiding gun owners in Northern Michigan should not have their Second Amendment rights restricted because of the actions of criminals that are determined to hurt innocent people. We cannot allow our constitutional rights to be eroded to achieve a false sense of security,” he said.
“While I believe we need to have a national conversation about violence, our society’s values and the state of mental health care in this country, I don’t think the president’s plan to take guns out of the hands of responsible people is the answer. Guns are not the problem, evil people are. The only thing these proposed restrictions would do is prevent law-abiding individu-als from protecting their homes, children and businesses.
“The administration has also stated it intends to sidestep the legislative branch to implement its new gun control measures without the approval of Congress. That is unacceptable. The American people deserve to have this debate done the right way in the open and with the consent of their elected representatives,” Benishek’s statement concluded.
Sen. Carl Levin, (D-Mich) made the following statement after President Obama laid out his recommended proposal to curb gun violence.
“I strongly support the efforts President Obama outlined today to curb the gun violence that plagues our nation,” Levin said in the statement. “I have long supported legislation to restore the ban on assault weapons.