James City County police to offer gun safety courses

James City County Police Department aims to make the county a little bit safer with a series of free firearm safety courses for the public running through to the end of the year.

The single-session classes run October to December and teach participants the basics of firearm safety, handling and storage. Participants will also learn about the laws related to carrying a concealed handgun in Virginia, according to a county news release.

"We hope to increase the safety of citizens by educating them on safe handling, storage and carrying of firearms," said Stephanie Williams, James City County Police spokeswoman.

A James City County police officer will teach the classes, which have a lecture format that doesn't include any hands-on components with firearms, Williams said.

Participants should leave their own firearms at home.

The class meets requirements for the documentation of proof of handgun competency needed as part of the Virginia concealed handgun permit application, according to the release. Participants receive a certificate of attendance. Each session has a capacity of 35 participants.

Participants must preregister on the county website to take part in a session.

The National Rifle Association Foundation and Project ChildSafe, a national firearm safety organization, provided the grant money to fund the course materials and gun locks, which will be provided to participants.

People interested in attending the classes should contact Alan McDowell, master officer and course instructor, at 757-603-6026 with questions about the course and Williams at 757-259-5173 with registration problems.

Want to go?

When: 6:30-9 p.m. on Oct. 18, Nov. 1 and Dec. 6. 9-11:30 a.m. on Nov. 26 and Dec. 17.

Where: Law Enforcement Center, 4600 Opportunity Way.

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