Washington, D.C., residents and their neighbors from Virginia and Maryland, displayed keen interest in the safe use of firearms, while at the same time showing appreciation for their individual right to keep and bear arms as reaffirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Heller decision, by attending recent National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®) First Shots® seminars at area shooting ranges.

Making the leap from interest to actual ownership can be challenging. So, to provide helpful answers to the questions area residents had about the safe practice of handgun ownership, as well offer first hands-on experience in many cases, five shooting ranges held free First Shots seminars.

NSSF, the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry, co-sponsored the seminars with ranges. First Shots seminars were held Aug. 24-28, at the following shooting facilities:

  • Blue Ridge Arsenal, Chantilly, Va.
  • Sharp Shooters Small Arms Range, Lorton, Va.
  • St. Charles Sportsmen’s Club, Waldorf, Md.
  • Clark Brothers Guns, Warrenton, Va.
  • Range 82, Midland, Va.

Demonstrating the public’s high level of interest in firearms instruction and ownership, all five ranges reported their classes — up to four a day at each range — were filled.

“First Shots seminars provide an introduction to safe and responsible handgun shooting and firearms storage,” said program manager Tisma Juett. “Each seminar covers laws and regulations, emphasizes the value of proper training and puts participants on the firing line with certified instructors so they can experience the fun of target shooting.”

The seminars were open to men and women 21 years of age and older.

The First Shots program has provided an introduction to firearms ownership to 40,000 people nationwide. According to program research, half the individuals who attended past seminars have met local requirements for handgun ownership and have introduced another person to their new-found sport of target shooting. “The excitement of target shooting with firearms is something people want to share with their friends and family members,” said Juett.

Those attending the First Shots seminars in the D.C. metro region learned by firing .22-caliber ammunition donated by Remington Arms and, at some of the ranges, by using semi-automatic pistols provided for the classes by Beretta USA. Targets were provided by Birchwood Casey. For more information about First Shots, contact Tisma Juett at tjuett@nssf.org or go to www.firstshots.org.

Logo courtesy National Shooting Sports Foundation

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