VIRGINIA

Gun safety classes fill up as sales surge

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The debate over guns in the U.S. has picked up in recent weeks in the wake of the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn. As lawmakers discuss gun control measures, some gun owners are going back to school.

At many gun shops, customers won't just have to wait to buy a gun, they'll have to wait to use it safely. There are gun safety classes available, but they're filling up fast.

"Right now, we're booked through March...," said firearms instructor Kenneth Brand.

It's a case of too much demand and not enough time.

Katie Myers, who also teaches gun safety classes, added, "We're even adding more classes on Saturdays as well, and as soon as they're out, they're full..."

Along with a spike in gun sales over the last two months comes a surge of interest in gun safety.

"I've taught everybody from a 9-year-old child and his father...Up to last week, I had a 68-year-old woman shooting with me...," Brand said.

But now, students may have to wait months to get in a classroom to learn the basics.

"Stance, grip, breath control, trigger control...," Katie Myers explained.

William Counts has waited two months for his new gun to arrive. He was on a waiting list, so he took a safety course in the meantime.

"It's just like driving a car. You don't just jump in a car, you have to go through classes and stuff like that," Counts said. "Then you become an expert at it..."

The problem now is finding enough time for the experts to share their knowledge. Gun safety teachers admit having an overflow of interest isn't a bad problem to have.

"We don't just want people to purchase and put it away...If you're gonna buy it, use it and learn how to use it responsibly...," Myers continued.

Just be prepared to wait for those lessons while the demand for safety and sales is still strong.

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