Rise in demand for concealed carry training in Minot

Published: Mar. 29, 2021 at 7:17 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. – The recent mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder have put gun ownership and gun safety at the forefront of many people’s minds.

Several area firearm facilities have noticed a spike in interest for concealed carry and gun retention courses.

Owning a gun is a big step for Jared Gebhardt. He said he wanted to get more familiar with hand guns before concealed carrying.

“I have never actually taken a gun class that involved a handgun so i really thought it was important to learn how to use the handgun obviously before i took it out into the community or anything like that,” said Gebhardt.

Even though you do not need a permit to conceal carry in North Dakota, many still recommend some type of training.

“Statistics show that if you own a gun, you are more likely to be injured by that gun. So, if you are willing to conceal carry, you should have a few classes under you belt before you even take it out. I still don’t carry my gun out and about with me because I am not comfortable with it yet, a few more classes and I will be,” said Gebhardt.

There may be more than one reason that firearm courses are filling up quickly.

“That’s the number one thing I hear the most, that they want to be able to protect themselves and their families but they want to be knowledgeable and comfortable when they do that,” said Michael Sian, Spectrum Fitness owner and gun course instructor.

Using his previous military and special ops training, Sian explained what he feels is the most important thing when concealed carrying.

“A firearm is just a tool. It will do nothing without me actuating that tool. So I want you to be comfortable with it and know what it does and why. The most important thing is why you are carrying,” said Sian.

Spectrum Fitness not the only location seeing an increase in attendance.

“As more and more people find out that we are here and what we offer, they are coming out and taking classes in troves. We offer 7 to 10 classes a month and most of those are full,” said Rob Fuller, owner of Spartan Firearms.

North Dakota is not the only state seeing an increase in concealed carrying interest.

“Not only have we doubled our number classes, more than doubled our number of classes, but there are more students in each class. And we are a nationwide organization. We are talking to people all around the country,” said Kevin Michalowski, an official with the U.S. Concealed Carry Association.

Both facilities in Minot expect to see a continued increase in interest for concealed carrying and safety courses.

Multiple members of the U.S. Senate, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, are trying to pass reforms on guns following the recent shootings, however nothing has yet passed.

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