STOCKBRIDGE -- As part of his emphasis on community involvement, Police Chief Robert M. Eaton has announced that a free home firearm safety course will be offered Monday for women who are town residents.

Interested participants are asked to complete registration applications, available at the police station, 50 Main St., by 8 a.m. this Thursday. Eaton said he can supply the forms by e-mail for those who contact him at reaton@townofstockbridge.com.

The NRA Home Firearm Safety training event, led by Robert McDermott of McDermott & Co. in West Stockbridge, will be held at 6 p.m. Monday in the Town Offices Community Room. McDermott is an NRA-certified training counselor and instructor, as well as a credentialed chief range training officer.

Eaton described the course as especially helpful for women whose family members keep weapons at home, or for those interested in learning more about shooting sports as well as safe handling and storage of firearms and ammunition.

The course is not designed to help participants obtain a license to carry, he explained, but aims to increase awareness for "females who might not be comfortable around firearms. If they encounter a firearm at home, how do they handle it and make sure it's safe."

The four-hour non-shooting course is conducted in the classroom only, Eaton said.


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Students are taught the NRA's basic rules for safe gun handling -- the primary causes of firearms accidents; firearms parts; how to unload certain action types; ammunition components; cleaning; care; safe storage of firearms in the home; and the benefits of becoming an active participant in the shooting sports.

Participants will receive the NRA Home Firearm Safety handbook, Gun Safety Rules brochure, Basic Firearm Training Program brochure, as well as NRA and Massachusetts course completion certificates.