Milton police plan concealed carry training courses
MILTON In Milton, residents who seek training to carry a concealed gun can now get it from a cop.
The Milton City Council Tuesday gave the nod to a plan by the Milton Police Department to offer four-hour concealed carry classes.
Milton Police Chief Dan Layber told the council Tuesday the classes would give residents another option for concealed carry training and said the plan could generate revenue for the city.
"We feel that this is very good training and it would help out the citizens of Milton and surrounding areas with getting some good quality training from law enforcement," Layber said. "We're not saying that private entities out there aren't providing good training, but I would feel a lot more comfortable offering this."
Other police departments statewide are beginning to offer concealed carry training, Layber said.
A Janesville Police Department official said Tuesday that the department and others in Rock County are considering offering concealed carry training.
The department has not yet laid out how often it would offer the classes, but it plans to offer a class in October, Layber said. The courses would be held at night in city council chambers at the Milton City Hall.
No real guns and no ammunition would be allowed, Layber said. Instead, people would train with non-working, "fake" handguns provided by the department.
Class sizes tentatively would be up to 10 people, Layber said.
The state requires that concealed carry applicants get gun safety training, but state lawmakers have debated how much and what kind of training is appropriate.
The Milton Police Department's training would be consistent with four-hour gun safety courses that the Department of Justice recommends for concealed carry training.
Milton police Lt. Brad Smith, a certified gun instructor, will lead the courses with assistance from Layber. The courses would be done on staff time, so there would be no extra cost to the city. Also, under state statutes, concealed carry course instructors aren't held legally liable for the gun owners that they train, Layber said.
Milton Mayor Tom Chesmore, a concealed carry supporter, said police-led concealed carry courses are a great idea.
Alderman Dave Adams said he favored the idea over training by private businesses.
"I would feel much more comfortable myself having you folks do it rather than somebody who has a vested interest in selling guns," he said.
Layber called the $75 cost of the courses reasonable and less expensive than private training by private businesses.
Thunder Shooting Supplies, a gun shop in Milton, is one of a handful of area stores that offer gun courses for concealed carry applicants. Courses there are 7 hours long and cost $60, said an employee who would only speak on condition of anonymity.
The shop holds a few classes a month and has class sizes of about 10 people, the employee said.