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Two Florida gun shops offering free firearm training for teachers

Posted: 6:01 AM, Mar 20, 2018
Updated: 2018-03-20 10:25:49-04

Two gun shops in Southwest Florida are offering free gun training for teachers in response to the Parkland shooting.

A free class at North Fort Myers Guns is designed to educate teachers about guns so they can protect themselves and others.

A new state law allows schools districts the option to arm teachers under certain conditions.  They would be required to go through 144 hours of training and an evaluation process with law enforcement.

Robert Lewis, the owner of North Fort Myers Guns, said the training he is offering will give teachers a jump start on how to use a gun.

Lewis said it's a two-hour class where teachers can learn the basics and then they will go to a local gun range a few days later to practice firing a gun.

"My trainer takes you out to his private range in North Fort Myers. You will shoot any number of weapons you want. He makes it a true learning experience," Lewis said.

The training is normally $70, but Lewis said he's offering it for free for teachers because he believes arming teachers will help protect kids in school.

Two teachers have already signed up for Tuesday's training class. Lewis said depending on how many teachers sign up, he will hold a class at least once a month.

Fowler Firearms in Ft. Myers, Florida is offering a similar service.

After receiving a local donation, the manager John Dezendorf is offering the first five local certified teachers who sign up a brand new firearm and free platinum memberships.

The membership includes free range time and gun rentals for a year.

Dezendorf said whether the teachers are required to train through the state or county, his training services will give them the extra practice they need.

"The number one thing is to keep children safe and the only things to keep kids safe is to have people around them that are able to protect them. The only way you're able to protect them is with a firearm because you have to meet force with force," Dezendorf said.