Local gun store says demand for concealed carry classes up in new year

Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 4:45 PM EST
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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Largely vacant gun shelves at Lynchburg’s SafeSide personify a new era in Virginia.

It’s an era where in-person concealed carry classes are in high demand.

“We added four classes last weekend and they all filled up within a matter of days,” said Mitchell Tyler, co-owner.

Tyler says that demand comes after a new law took effect this year.

That law says if you want a concealed carry permit, you can’t take an online course anymore. In-person classes are the only option.

“There’s definitely a value in having an in-person instructor: The Q&A time at the end of the session where other people bring up things that maybe you hadn’t thought,” said Tyler.

Tyler says SafeSide was offering virtual courses last year, but has had to adjust in 2021.

More in-person classes are being offered due to the increased demand.

While Tyler says the information is the same either way, he says folks can get more out of an in-person course.

“I like in-person training, it’s how we started and it’s how we’re going to continue, but we are looking for other opportunities to leverage e-learning,” said Tyler.

One of those opportunities is a potential hybrid class.

While the details on that aren’t clear yet, it would allow people a mixed approach to learning.

“That would give people more flexibility in their schedule to knock out a portion of it online,” said Tyler.

Class sizes are limited right now due to the pandemic.

Other mitigation measures are also in place to keep folks safe.

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