Last night’s topic at my citizen’s police academy class was firearms and firearm safety. Yes, we got to play with guns. 🙂
First thing we went over were the types of weapons that our police department uses:
• Smith and Wesson (Sam? Dean? Is that you? *g*) .38 revolver
• Glock G17 semi-automatic 9mm pistol (#1 gun for law enforcement in the entire U.S.)
• Remington 870 shotgun (going by the wayside, mainly used for blowing apart doors now to gain entry)
• AR-15 semi-automatic rifle (accurate up to 500 yards)
• Remington 700 sniper rifle .30 (politically correct term is “police marksman” not “sniper”)
Three of the guns were there for us to look at and handle – the revolver, the AR-15 and the sniper rifle. What I found surprising was that you think of revolvers as this little gun, but this thing was more than hefty and quite large. And for the AR-15 being mostly plastic it was darn heavy! Loved the sniper rifle because it reminded me of my own .22 rifle that I own. But with a much more wicked scope!
We also went over the FOID cards (Firearm Owner Identification) of which I have one myself. Illinois is now a “concealed carry” state and some people mistakenly think that the FOID card automatically grants you that privilege. No, you have to go through a 16 hour class and then apply for a concealed carry permit card. I for one am not happy that IL passed this law and I’m thankful that most of the retail stores/restaurants have it clearly marked that NO firearms are permitted on the premises. One guy in class has a concealed carry permit and he admitted that he rarely carries his gun because he can’t take it inside anywhere. Good! I don’t need to be grocery shopping next to someone with a .38 strapped to their side!
Next we went over firearm safety rules that all officers follow:
• Assume all guns are loaded
• Don’t point the muzzle at anything that you’re not willing to destroy
• Keep your finger off the trigger until you set your sights on your target
• Be sure of your target and beyond
Then there were the marksmanship basics:
• Stance (stand straightforward but not locked in position – always be ready to move)
• Presentation of weapon (don’t windmill your arm around pulling your gun out – it’s straight up and straight out)
• Grip (tight and high – gun can easily jam if you grip the handle too low – the recoil won’t eject the spent casing)
• Breathing (don’t hold your breath – shoot at the bottom of your breath as you exhale)
The last thing we did was watch several training videos that the new recruits go through. It’s called F.A.T.S. – Firearms Training Simulator. It’s where the officer stands in front of a large screen with a laser gun and must react to the situation presented to them (Shoot/Don’t Shoot senarios). I was bummed that we weren’t able to try this ourselves, as I did this in a previous class and it was amazing. It’s where I got the nickname Dirty Harriet for shooting one armed man in the head twice and another right in the groin. [snerk]
All in all another informative night! Next week is going to be great. We’re doing crime scene processing which will be hands on. Can’t wait!