Increased gun interest not uncommon after mass shootings

BigShots Indoor Range owner Jim Clark says he has noticed that new faces tend to stop by his store after mass shootings.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – It’s something BigShots owner Jim Clark has seen before.

A wave of people coming to his gun range following a mass shooting, wanting to learn more about self-defense.

“We do,” Clark said. “This tragedy out in Colorado, with the number of loss of lives, where it happened, where anybody in the U.S.A could have been there. That gets people thinking that maybe they need to protect themselves.”

Firearm safety instructor Mike Mettscher says the first thing people interested in exploring firearm training should do is learn about gun laws in their state.

“In Nebraska, we can defend ourselves against the threat of severe bodily harm, death, kidnapping, or rape,” Mettscher said. “What we do is teach people how to defend themselves against that threat.”

Mettscher has been teaching firearm safety courses for 12 years. He says while it’s not the main emphasis of his courses, there is specific training on how to deal with mass shooter situations.

“We do talk through scenarios like that,” Mettscher said. “Because obviously, with a concealed carry permit, you’re able to carry your firearm out in public, so there’s that chance that you’re gonna have to defend yourself in public. So we walk through scenarios on how you would do that.”

Mettscher says his courses include with six hours in the classroom and one hour on the range. The Nebraska State Patrol ultimately determines whether or not someone gets certified.

While there is a learning curve, Clark says he’s seen people that have little to no experience with firearms pick things up quickly.

“You can learn the skills pretty rapidly,” Clark said. “We do the training from the very beginning, people that have never handled a firearm before, all the way up until they get their concealed carry permit.”

Categories: Lancaster, Nebraska News, News, US & World