Gun safety seminar packed with people in Marietta

6:28 AM, Jan 25, 2013   |    comments
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MARIETTA, Ga. -- For the past two years the Marietta Police Department has been holding gun safety seminars. On average about 100 people attend them. Thursday night was much different. The police department had to move the seminar to a much larger auditorium to handle an overwhelming response.

More than 500 gun owners, first time buyers and some who are thinking about buying a gun, filled the auditorium at Marietta Middle School. "That may be part of the political climate right now, it may be part of people's perception that they need this for self defense," said Lt. Brian Marshall, an instructor.

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The response might be a direct response to record gun sales that followed recent mass shooting events and debates in Washington over gun control. There were varied responses from people who attended.

Sandra Wheeler has never owned a gun but has been influenced by recent events. "Things have changed so much, things are more violent now, you know, I'm really concerned," she said.

Lampra Jones said her decision to purchase a weapon had little to do with recent events and more to do with her 7-month-old son Solomon. "Just for safety for me and my son because I'm a single mom," she said.

Peter Ruocco said he already owns a gun, but he wants his wife Amanda to know how to use it. "I'm kind of scared of them," she said. "So this is why I'm coming to the class to get more information."

The Marietta Police instructors who ran the event said it was good to see people take the next step after buying a gun. Lt. Marshall said people wanted to know the basics. "It seems like the number one question tends to be 'If I'm going to buy a gun, what can I do with it? Do I need a permit? Where can I carry and when can I use it?'" he said.

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