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      APD gives citizens firearms course

      Police say many people have guns for personal protection but not everyone knows how to properly use them. Saturday officers gave a training course to some Albany citizens.

      Bullet shells litter the ground where Albany police officers hone their skills. But today the people behind the guns didn't wear a badge, they were civilians.

      They tell you exactly what you should and should not do. You may think you know from seeing it on T.V. But that's Hollywood, said Chelcie Dunlap, who took the course.

      On Saturday the Albany police department opened their firing range for an instructional firearms class.

      Most people go to the store, they buy a weapon. They never practice with it and they really don't know how it operates. How to clean it how to use it. How to safely shoot it, said Deputy Chief Mark Scott.

      I wanted something for home protection and then I wanted to be trained in how to use it and know all the rules and regulations for the state of Georgia, said Ron Vargo, who took the course.

      The class was free and started before the students came out to the range.

      We started out this morning in the class room. They learned about Georgia law and weapons carry and use of force. We talked about safety and hand gun use and this afternoon, we're letting them put it into practical application, said Dep. Chief Scott.

      All they had to do was bring their own gun ammo. People who took the class say the class helps prepare them for the unfortunate situation where they might have to use their gun.

      Any practice you do at anything makes you more prepared for any situation. Especially if you have to think quickly. It gives you something to think back on, said Dunlap.

      The department has plans to hold another class in the near future. But space is limited. If you are interested in signing up call Phyllis Banks at (229) 483-6298.