For those who want to take aim at obtaining a gun license, one local business is fully loaded with the steps required.
The Canadian Firearm Safety Academy offers up to 12 hours of instruction on gun safety for restrictive and non-restrictive firearms.
Jason Kent, co-owner and instructor of the course, said the business stemmed out of a personal passion for guns.
“I like to buy and work with firearms. I’ll do research on firearms and buy different ones,” he said. “All our guns are different.”
Both he and his wife, Jayne Kent, co-owner of the business, are certified by the Chief Firearms Office of Alberta to administer the Canadian Firearm Safety Course. The course is a mandatory step in obtaining a gun license in Alberta.
It teaches the evolution of firearms, major parts, types and actions, basic firearms safety practices, ammunition, safe handling and carrying procedures and more.
The course ends with a test, which participants will have to pass as part of the application process to obtain a Possession and Acquisition License to own a firearm.
At the academy, students will have access to 80 rifles and handguns to work with. When participants arrive to the course they’ll be met with rows of rifles, shotguns and handguns.
“The one consistent thing about firearms is that they’re inconsistent in the way they’re made. There are a bunch of different ways that they can function,” he said. “So we looked at this as an opportunity to give people a lot of exposure.”
The academy offers courses on non-restrictive, restricted firearms or a combination of both.
Students will learn how to handle pump action, bolt action, semi-automatic and break/hinge action non-restrictive guns, and semi-automatic, single action and double action restricted firearms, depending on what course they’re taking.
All of the firearms for the course have been de-activated and the course uses dummy ammunition. That means it’s highly unlikely any of the firearms would be able to discharge.
Both Jason and Jayne have previously worked in law enforcement, giving them both an understanding on firearms and the relationship between gun owners and the RCMP.
“Given our background in law enforcement, we see a real need in giving a deliverance of the course that is professional and user-friendly,” she said, “and still has a little bit of a lighter side to it, so that people can understand it, enjoy it and not be afraid of firearms.”
Jason started hunting when he was 14 years old. As an avid hunter and gun enthusiast, he said he was disheartened when he read how many death and injuries firearms caused.
“Pretty much every single one of those incidents are preventable,” he said.
“Anything can happen, but it’s how you mitigate those risks and try minimize the risks involved. There’s always going to be a potential for something to happen, but it’s the amount of steps you take to prevent the incident from happening.”
Seeing the amount of preventable deaths, injuries and gun thefts, Jason and Jayne decided to get into the gun teaching business.
This is the second Canadian Firearm Safety Academy the duo has opened. Four years ago they opened the first academy in Fort McMurray, but decided to move away after the Fort McMurray fire to start fresh.
The business doesn’t have a permanent home just yet, but the first course has already been scheduled. It will take place on Dec. 9 and 10 at #205-200 Carnegie Dr. (the NABI building in Campbell park).
Costs are $150 for the non-restricted course, or $300 for both the non-restricted and restricted courses combined. To register call 780-278-6215, or for more information visit https://canadianfirearmsafety.com/