Liberty Mountain Gun Club offers safety training and firsthand experience with firearms

The Liberty Mountain Gun Club (LMGC) offers multiple opportunities to Liberty faculty, staff and students to obtain hands-on firearm knowledge and experience, making Liberty one of the few concealed carry campuses in the U.S. 

Located just a few minutes from campus on Camp Hydaway Road, the shooting facility has four different ranges: shotgun, pistol, rifle and archery. With these resources, LMGC can train beginners and experts with the various skills and information necessary to operate firearms.  

“Very few schools in the country have a firearm range,” LMGC General Manager Bill Crawford said. “This gives Liberty such a big advantage.”

Liberty Mountain Gun Club also offers three different firearm safety classes. General Firearm Safety, which is offered free to Liberty students, staff and faculty, is an introduction best for new users to learn how to safely operate a firearm. This two-hour course, when completed, allows the student to apply for a concealed carry permit at age 21. 

The other two courses, Practical Application 101 and 201, focus on practical consideration and scenarios for firearm carriers such as clothing choices, holster options, and self-defense. Crawford explained that they go as far as to set up furniture outside, creating lifelike scenarios for the students to maneuver.

“We do not want people to be afraid of guns,” Crawford said. “Our staff is trained to encourage the shooter to become
more comfortable.”

Paul David Steele, a senior Liberty student, believes being able to conceal carry on a college campus is important.

“Being able to conceal carry is a privilege and a majority of college campuses do not allow that,”Steele said. “Many rely on their own security, which is not a bad thing, but to provide students the opportunity to defend themselves and not have to worry about threats is amazing, and I am really thankful for that.”

Steele suggested that anyone looking to get their conceal carry take the opportunities given at the LMGC to develop their skills and better understand firearm safety.

“If they are not trained properly in how to handle a firearm, they could end up hurting themselves or even worse someone else when dealing with a threat,” Steele said.

To anyone that may be afraid of guns or think negatively about them, Crawford encourages them to come to the range. He says a safe environment with well-trained staff and one-on-one opportunities with instructors will help ensure confidence for a wary shooter.

“Our instructors will always encourage and show the person how to operate and fire properly,” Crawford said. “There is also always a range safety operator to make sure everything is going well.” 

Steele said the range that offers courses on firearm safety allows students, faculty and staff  to operate their firearms properly and keep the campus safe. Crawford further explained that interested students should register for one of the LMGC academic courses. 

The range offers shotgun, rifle and pistol classes in which the student receives academic credits for learning weapon handling, ammunition selection, and marksmanship.

LMGC is offering General Firearm Safety and Practical Application courses March 11, 19 and 28.

Edmonds is a news reporter. Follow her on Twitter.

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