Those wanting to obtain a Colorado concealed carry gun permit can now go through the city of Glenwood Springs Recreation Department to receive the necessary training.
“It’s been several years since we did it last, but we’ve been getting some requests so we decided to offer it again,” said James Main, athletic programs coordinator for city rec.
Two separate classes are being offered this September, both led by certified instructor Dave Hatch of Silt, who has been conducting concealed carry certification classes privately for about 15 years.
The first class, on Sept. 11, is a four-hour, classroom-only training session that provides basic gun safety, loading and gun care instruction, firing techniques and a review of state firearms laws, especially as they relate to concealed carry.
A second course, on Sept. 20, combines the classroom instruction with hands-on training at the Glenwood Springs shooting range in South Canyon.
“The main thing we emphasize is gun safety and the laws about concealed carry,” said Hatch, who is also a deputy with the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office. “We want to make sure people know what the laws are about holding, transporting and displaying a gun.”
Although Colorado residents are allowed to openly carry a firearm in most circumstances as long as it’s plainly visible, a special permit is required to carry a concealed, or hidden, gun for protection.
Before applying for a permit through the local sheriff’s office, though, the state requires a handgun safety and concealed carry rules class taught by a certified instructor.
The hands-on shooting instruction is a useful bonus of the city rec class, Hatch said, but is not required for a concealed carry permit.
Hatch said he has worked with private businesses and other organizations to offer concealed carry classes, but this is the first time he has taught one through a local recreation department.
Main said he knows of other Colorado cities that have offered concealed carry classes as part of their recreation programming, including Durango. A quick Internet search revealed similar recreation offerings in neighboring states, including Orem, Utah, and Carson City, Nevada.
Glenwood Springs Parks and Recreation Director Tom Barnes compared the concealed carry class to hunter safety courses, archery and self defense classes that have been offered in the past.
“A lot of the classes we provide are a response to citizen inquiries,” Barnes said. “Guns and shooting sports are a reality in our area, and if we can help people to use firearms correctly and safely I’m open to that.
“We’re providing an opportunity for both training and awareness,” he said.
To obtain a concealed carry permit after the training, residents must fill out an application and be fingerprinted. Locally, Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario decides whether to issue permits after reviewing applications and conducting background checks.
Certain people, including convicted felons or those with known substance abuse or mental problems, are not allowed to possess firearms under Colorado law, he emphasized in a recent interview.
Last year, Garfield County issued 534 new concealed carry permits and renewed 277 permits. A permit is good for five years.
For more information or to register for the Glenwood Rec Department classes, visit www.glenwoodrec.com.
“The main thing we emphasize is gun safety and the laws about concealed carry.”
Garfield County Sheriff’s Office deputy and class instructor