University gun class to focus on safety and training

The Daily News

Ball State police officers will train students and staff on firearm safety and use this weekend, including how to shoot.

The two-day course will take place on Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will be broken into two parts each day. 

David Bell, the training and special events coordinator for University Police Department, said safety is the biggest thing he hopes people will take from the class.

“We are the department of public safety, so it’s our number one concern,” he said. “We feel like it’s our responsibility to educate the public on things we have influence over and things we feel are important.”

The class came from a demand for firearms training, and is free to preregistered students, faculty and their families.

The first part of both days will be spent in a classroom learning about firearms, and the second half will be at a firing range using them.

“The idea behind the class is just to give the students a basic general awareness of firearms safety, what firearms are capable of, the different types of firearms and how to use and store them,” Bell said.

The group will head to a firing range after the classroom session to learn how to properly fire a gun, and will have a shooting tournament on the second day.

Rex Waldo, a junior computer technology major, said the intent of the class is good, but having it close to campus is risky.

“It’s probably a good thing for a city limit area but not for a campus,” he said. “It’s good to let people know how to own guns and how to handle themselves with guns. Personally I would not take this class. I am not dealing with guns right now, so I do not need it.”

Ashley Coker, a communication studies instructor, said she wouldn’t take the class either but she’s glad the class is being offered.

“I think a gun safety class is very important for gun owners,” she said. “I am not a gun owner and I am not even interested in becoming one, so it’s not designed for people like me.”

Bolutife Olorunda, a business administration graduate student, said he thinks offering this class is great.

“I think if you own a gun or want to get a gun you need to know how to use it,” he said. “Guns are dangerous weapons, so you need to know how to use it, how to keep it secure and know to put it safe and away from others.”

Olorunda said learning to respect guns is important.

“Out of these types of classes you get respect to your gun,” he said. “A lot of people who own guns have no respect to their guns and don’t know how to handle it well.”

Olorunda said he would definitely take the class.

“I want to know how to use a gun and know what the proper ways of getting a gun are,” he said.

Bell said safety and storage is also important because of the possibility of children playing with guns.

“A lot of the people that come to the class have children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren,” he said. “It’s very important that we educate on firearm safety and how to properly store and carry your firearms.”

Being pulled over with a gun in the car is a situation that Bell said many people don’t think of when carrying guns. The class teaches what to do in the situation to prevent an edgy encounter, and spreading the word makes it safer for everyone.

“It’s better for the community, it’s better for police, not just us, but all police,” he said.

The class was hosted last year as well for about 15 to 20 people.

“It was very popular,” Bell said. “There were a couple people there that did not know a lot about firearms and they got a lot of their questions answered. I feel like a lot of the people last year, even those who knew something about firearms, left having learned something and having a better appreciation.”

Bell said several people not related to Ball State have approached him about a community class as well.

“I think it’s probably a good idea that we offer this type of thing to the community,” he said. “We’re discussing how we do this class and we’re considering opening it up.”



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