Gun Safety Training

A part of a good firearm, gun, or hunter safety class should be actual “hands on” training. Let me illustrate with the example of a recent hunter education class that I taught. I was teaching the security and animal care staff of a large local amusement park. The amusement park administration had mandated that park personnel needed to be prepared for an animal emergency. The park has large predators and otherwise dangerous animals. The administration wanted to be prepared should animals endanger the visitors or staff.
So, to address this need, the chief animal curator purchased shotguns and slugs. Then he arranged for the staff to train in hunter education with me.
So, I had the staff pre-train on the beasafehunter.org website. When they arrived, we covered TABS in detail. Next, we watched and discussed the videos. After the actual test, we began preparations for going to the range for hands on training.
Part of this preparation was the dealing with the actual shooting of large, dangerous animals. I displayed many photos of wild boar and discussed shot placement. Next, I played a video of a lion charging hunters and we talked about how to deal with such a situation.
At the range, we familiarized the staff with the shotguns. We especially focused on loading and unloading. All actual gun handling was conducted under close supervision by myself.
Next, the staff began some shooting with heavy shotshells, this was to further familiarize them with the shotguns. Now, bear in mind that some of the staff had never even handled a shotgun previously, much less fired one.
Next, we began training under duress. First, we placed 3 slugs at 10, 15, and 20 yards from the start point. The shooters would run to each point and perform calisthenics, pickup the slug, load, and shoot. All this was performed under a time limit, and heavy supervision. Even with a small target on a small box, most of the shooters hit the box.
Last, we simulated the lion’s charge. I had each shooter load two slugs and stand facing away from the range with me standing with them. A driver on a fast golf cart was pulling a dolly INSERT HAND DOLLY LINK with a long rope. A small target on a small box was affixed to the dolly. As soon as the driver passed us, I would command the shoot to turn. They would then take their shots. They did surprisingly well. Most would have hit a vital area on the lion if they were charged.