With record numbers of Oklahomans buying firearms, there's been an increase in people looking for training on those new guns. However, one gun range owner wanted to find a way to continue the education to make sure the new gun owners don't stop learning how to use them.
"You're responsible for every round that comes out of that weapon," said Wes Elliott the owner of Practical Shooting in McLoud. He says too many people think their first gun class is enough to make them prepared to use their weapon in the worst-case scenario.
"If you've been in a scenario, your mind has somewhere to go," Elliott told Fox 25, "If you've never been in a scenario, if your mind doesn't have anything to reference, it will lock up."
Practical Shooting is now offering a unique training program that puts gun owners in situations they could encounter at their home. "They're using live guns, the real equipment they would use in real life," Elliott said. The ammunition is tipped with non-lethal rounds, but these fake bullets can leave a mark which makes the scenario even more life-like.
"You know going in that this is a scenario, this is practice but what's amazing is how pumped up you get and how the adrenaline flows and you actually get that fright factor," said Robert Crum who took the home-defense course.
Crum is a former member of the military and a former police officer. He says over the years his skills with a firearm became a little rusty and he wanted a refresher. Crum says just going to the range wasn't good enough for him and his family. "A lot of that training is shooting at a piece of paper and what's nice is to get these live scenarios where you have interaction with good people and bad people."
"The most important round typically a person will fire, either law enforcement or military, is that first round," Elliott said, "Without the proper training, putting that first round on target typically doesn't happen."
The training programs also teach gun owners how to respond to threats in public places like restaurants and parking lots. However Elliotts also want gun owners to know that escape, not shooting, is also an option. "If it's possible you can turn and evade the situation. The best place to be in a gun fight is someplace else."