Gun training courses begin in order to meet new NYS requirements

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – New laws that limit where legal gun owners can carry firearms are now in effect here in New York.  If you don’t already have a permit to carry, you’ll have to meet a slew of new benchmarks before you can get one.   

Dave Jenkins has been teaching gun safety courses for years.  As the owner of Rochester Personal Defense, his phone has been ringing off the hook since the new laws went into effect, “I’ve probably got a file folder of about 300-400 people give or take, just waiting for us to put the first class up,” he tells News10NBC. 

Anyone who wants to apply for a new concealed-carry permit now needs to take 16 hours of classroom training and 2 hours of live-fire training before they can even submit their application.  The guidance for approved instructors to set up that training came out less than a week and a half ago.  “I didn’t want to cobble something together to make it meet the criteria so, I just took the outline and I made a whole new class for it,” Jenkins explains. 

Jenkin’s certifications allow him to start offering the new training immediately but firearms instructors with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, are not allowed to teach it yet. “We can’t teach it until July of next year which right now, even if we want to help out which we do, we enjoy teaching the public and trying to take some of this burden, we can’t,” says Undersheriff Korey Brown. 

The stipulation is part of the fine print in the new regulations and so far, law enforcers haven’t gotten an explanation beyond that, “for years, we’ve done a safe-storage and a handgun course for 4 hours, and we do it and we’re sold out for months at a time,” Brown says.

Those courses, while still an option for current handgun owners who want extra practice or a refresher, do not meet the requirements for new permit hopefuls. “We’re like everyone else, trying to figure it out,” says Brown. “We agree with training, we’ve been doing training for years, so it’s not that we’re opposed to the training, it’s just the whole way it’s been rolled out…we’ve had no input on and there’s no real guidance specifically as to what it is.”

As qualified firearm instructors get their programs up and running, those looking to take one, need to be prepared to pay.  Right now, it is anticipated to cost between $350-$500. “We’ve got to pay for range access, materials, we’ve got to pay for staff so, once we get a better handle on that and to be honest, we’re going to see what the market looks like.  We’re going to be competitive in the market but I’m going to try to be on the lower end of the market because I want to make it available to more people as much as possible,” Jenkins says.