Gun safety sessions offered
By Peter H. Milliken
“What Every Citizen Should Know about Guns,” is the topic of two free public-information programs at Mahoning County public libraries this month.
The presentations, intended for adults only, will be given by Sgt. Steven Lindow, firearms training supervisor at the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office, at 6:30 p.m. next Monday at the main library, 305 Wick Ave., and at 10 a.m. March 25 at the Austintown branch, 600 S. Raccoon Road.
Lindow will display handguns, rifles and shotguns and explain firearms vocabulary and characteristics, gun safety and the provisions of Ohio’s concealed-carry law. No ammunition will be on site.
Last year, in Ohio, 117,953 new concealed-carry permits were issued, and 40,986 permits were renewed statewide, with the combined total of 158,939 being the highest on record since issuance of such permits began in 2004, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office reported.
Applicants for a five-year concealed gun-carrying permit must undergo a criminal background check, six hours of classroom training and two hours of firing-range training, Lindow said.
Among the guiding principles for Ohioans carrying guns for self-defense are the following, Lindow said:
The gun owner has a duty to retreat from a confrontation, if he or she can safely do so, everywhere but in his or her own home or vehicle.
Don’t draw a gun unless you’re prepared to shoot it.
Shooting a person is justified only when someone is in immediate danger of death or serious bodily injury.
“Pulling a weapon is your last resort,” Lindow said.
“It’s a great responsibility to carry a weapon on your side and have the ability to take [a life] or prevent a life from being taken,” he added.
“Do your research,” including achieving an understanding of gun laws, Lindow urged anyone considering applying for a concealed-carry permit.
Lindow urged potential concealed-carry permit applicants to seek information from the website of Ohio Atty. Gen. Mike DeWine, www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.
“You want to know how to operate the gun prior to carrying it around,” Lindow said.
“The more training, the better,” he added.
“This is a topic that’s very much in the news,” Josephine Nolfi, the library system’s programming director, said of Ohio’s concealed carry law and other gun laws and firearms safety concerns.
“The library is in the unique position of being able to provide unbiased, reliable information that does not seek to be controversial in any way,” she added.
“These are just the facts, the rights that people have, the responsibilities that they have when they carry a gun,” Nolfi said.
“Whether they choose to carry a gun or not, this will give them information they need to make responsible choices from an expert source,” she said of Sgt. Lindow’s presentations.