Concealed weapons a safety precaution for some

Concealed weapons a safety precaution for some

Concealed weapons a safety precaution for some

As the debate rages on over gun control, recent Concealed Carry Weapons training drew 17 safety-minded citizens including eight seeking new state permits to carry concealed firearms. Others attended to renew their five-year CCW permits as required by the state of Nevada.

The right to own any type of gun, concealed or otherwise, is a given in Pershing County. CCW permits holders are trained to be responsible gun owners and must pass background checks.

The next CCW certification and firearms class has been set for June 16 primarily for those who need to renew their permits. The class is required to apply for new and renewed CCW permits.

Endorsed by the Nevada Sheriffs and Chiefs Association, the class satisfies the State of Nevada’s CCW permit training requirements. Students are certified in the safe care and handling of handguns and ammunition as well as safe storage and child proofing of firearms.

Students are informed of the state and county laws regarding concealed weapons and the unpleasant consequences of using deadly force including civil and criminal liabilities. They are given basic instruction on how to avoid potential threats and control violent confrontations.

After completing the class and range qualification, those seeking a new permit or a five-year permit renewal must complete an application and pay fees at the Pershing County Sheriff’s Office. All undergo a background check, are fingerprinted and new applicants are photographed.

Those renewing CCW permits must undergo the background check every five years and those who are arrested or convicted of a crime lose their right to carry a gun, concealed or otherwise.

Nevada CCW and NRA instructor David Skelton organizes the class as needed assisted by Pershing County Undersheriff Tom Bjerke. The demand for CCW permit training varies but there’s been a recent “uptick” in requests for the five-year renewal certification, he said.

“I’d like a minimum of ten students,” Skelton said. “This year, I knew I would be heavy on renewals because five years ago I had forty people sign up and twenty people took the class.”

Skelton said less than half of his students are women. In the recent class, there were five females with two applying for new CCW permits and three applying to renew their permits.

“It hits somewhere under 50 percent,” he said. “Some women don’t want to come to the class unless their husband is going to be there. This is an option, not a requirement. I try to deal with the need where the need exists.”

After the training required for her new CCW permit, Jessica de Jonge of Lovelock said concealed weapons are a safety precaution for her family’s frequent trips to Las Vegas.

“You never know what could happen. This is to keep them safe,” said the mother of two. “The training is good for anyone to learn about their gun and everything about concealed weapons. This is a Ruger 22 and I have a 9 millimeter for the heavier fire power.”

Bjerke makes sure students know the consequences of using lethal force. Law enforcement investigates all shootings and even those justified in shooting a criminal can wind up in court.

“If you shoot somebody, it doesn’t mean that, okay, you saved your life and now you just move on,” Skelton said. “There are consequences and you need to be aware of what they might be. We live in a litigious society and you can be sued for all sorts of stupid things.”

Background checks every five years confirm that CCW permit holders still have the right to carry a concealed weapon and that helps keep firearms away from those who do not, Skelton said.

“If I get arrested or am indicted, I lose my permit, it’s taken away from me,” he said. “We don’t want to put firearms in the hands of people that don’t have a right to them, that have lost the right generally through their own actions.”

More comprehensive background checks, including mental health information, would protect the public more than outlawing any type of firearm ownership by law-abiding citizens, Skelton said.

“What they (gun control advocates) want to do is say you can’t have this, you can’t have that because I don’t like it,” he said. “Is it going to make them safer? Absolutely not. And, I’m not aware of a single background check that would have stopped any of the recent shootings.”

Skelton said schools would be safer if the option to carry a concealed weapon was permitted.

“I think gun free zones gives perpetrators a sense of security when they go into a place where nobody else can have a gun,” he said. “A gun free zone absolutely makes it target. I am comfortable with school administrators making their own rules about who can carry a gun and I have no problem with those willing to step up and get a higher level of training than I’m offering.”

Those interested in the June 16 CCW training may call Skelton at (775) 273-7685 or email him at The cost is $100 for new permit applicants and $50 for those renewing permits.