Concern raised about training required for firearm permits

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The president of a local shooting club said he is “concerned” licensed gun owners are not fully prepared for the responsibility – and is calling on police for more training.

“It is a problem for us in terms of the club. There is a breakdown in communication between the police and the clubs,” Antigua & Barbuda Shooting Club president Frank Theodore said in an interview with OBSERVER media.

Theodore, who is also the treasurer of the Riffle Association, stressed the 12 hours of training, currently required before a permit can be granted, is simply “not enough.”

“Especially when it comes to gun safety, it is not enough,” he said.

“There is more to carrying a weapon than just putting it on my person. There is a lot on it when it comes to security.”

In this effort, the target-shooting competitor said this is where police and policies have failed.

“What needs to happen is the police need to call us in and we have a meeting to discuss these types of things, in terms of the programmes needed to (be) put forward and the duration of these trainings,” the association president stressed.

In his estimation, permit holders should be required to join a gun club and complete at least 30 hours of additional training per year.

That information would then be forwarded to the Police Department as part of the yearly re-registration process.

(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)