December 11, 2017

Handgun Safety with MPD Training

Posted on March 31, 2011 by in OffTheBeatenPath

I would be willing to bet most folks who grew up hunting probably think they know the basics of gun handling pretty well by now.  Maybe so, and if you keep a firearm in your home for personal protection chances are you know how to bring the weapon to ready if necessary.  But how about your spouse?  If an intruder broke into your home and only your spouse was there, does he or she know how to handle a gun if the circumstances arose where the use of deadly force was necessary?

Many gun owners also apply for a concealed carry license in order to legally keep a weapon on them or in their vehicle for protection.

If you are a concealed carry license holder, how well do you understand the laws governing your right to carry that firearm, especially concerning the
use of deadly force?

Luckily for residents of the River Region, the Montgomery Police Department has a program called the “Citizens Firearm Familiarization Course” designed to help people become familiar with their personal defense weapon and educate them on the use of deadly force for personal protection.  My wife and I attended a recent course together and I would highly recommend it to anyone who keeps a firearm for personal protection.

Held monthly at Department facilities and taught by Montgomery police officers, the eight-hour Firearms Familiarization Course is broken up into two four-hour segments consisting of classroom and range time. Over the course of the program, attendees are introduced to basic handgun safety and handling, ammunition selection for practice and personal defense, proper shooting techniques and firearm cleaning and storage.  Attendees also learn excellent, common sense tips on avoiding dangerous social situations, the first step to keeping oneself and family out of danger.

Instructors also explain Alabama laws governing concealed carry of handguns and transportation of firearms in vehicles, and discuss in detail the right to defend oneself or one’s family with deadly force.  In all, I found it very thought-provoking, especially the class’s discussion concerning justification for use of deadly force. From that discussion, some attendees may decide they would rather not keep a gun for self defense but don’t want to be left defenseless.  As part of the course, instructors also explain the different types of non-lethal defensive devices like pepper spray or tasers, how they work and how to operate them safely.

Before actually firing a handgun during the Firearms Familiarization Course, attendees run through the Department’s F.A.T.S. system (Firearms Training Simulator) where they participate in interactive real-world scenarios that test their decision making regarding the use of deadly force.  Participants hold a full size functioning Glock pistol during F.A.T.S. exercises that does not shoot bullets but instead registers, via lasers and sensors, exactly where each shot is placed when fired.  It is instructor-controlled and used to teach police officers, so needless to say it is top-of-the-line.

Once course attendees have completed classroom work and discussion and gone through F.A.T.S., instructors guide them on to the police range. Attendees must individually demonstrate proper gun safety and handling techniques.  I highly recommend the Firearms Familiarization Course and appreciate the Montgomery Police Department’s offering it.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s right on target.


Niko Corley is an avid sportsman, spending his free time hunting, fishing  and enjoying other outdoor activities. In this column, he covers a range of outdoor recreation activities in central Alabama and beyond.


10 Responses to “Handgun Safety with MPD Training”

  1. Carl Gulledge 10 January 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    Just wondering what the cost is and when is the next class?

  2. Linda Weeks 17 January 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    My husband and I as well as some friends would be interested in attending a class.

  3. bob 28 January 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    The number to call is (334) 240-4812 (Mtgy Police Dept). The course is the Firearms Familiarization Course. Typically it’s two sessions, four hours each, over a two-day period (given during the week and on weekends I think). It used to be held in the firing range in the bottom of Cramton Bowl than at the Police range, but that may have changed with the renovations at Cramton Bowl. A phone call should get you the pertinent information. Good luck.

  4. steve bordlee 27 May 2013 at 9:07 am #

    I’d like to know when the next class begins, and the cost for attending.

  5. bob 28 May 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    Contact either the Montgomery Police Dept. or the Montgomery Co. Sheriff’s Dept. Both conduct handgun training. Good luck.

  6. JB 24 October 2013 at 10:34 am #

    When we took the class, it was free. That was some time ago so I would call first..

  7. doug king 29 August 2016 at 5:03 am #

    would very much like to attend class. have just enough knowledge to get me in trouble. need to get some more expert training so I can keep out of trouble!!!

  8. doug king 29 August 2016 at 5:06 am #

    would like more training on handgun control & legal issues involving conceal/carry. please advise when next class starts so that I might enroll!

  9. bob 31 August 2016 at 7:37 pm #

    Check with the Sheriff’s Dept. in Montgomery County. We don’t have their updated schedule.

  10. bob 31 August 2016 at 7:37 pm #

    Check with the Sheriff’s Dept. Montgomery Co. I’m not sure when they do the training.

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