Deputy starts firearm safety course locally

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

Two years ago, the Ohio legislature approved a law that allows private citizens to carry concealed weapons for their own protection, provided those people take a firearms safety course and apply for a state-issued permit.

Since then, Ron Kettel and a half dozen other local instructors have been busy keeping up with the demand for Carry Concealed Weapons (CCW) permit courses.

“I’ve been doing the class every month since they started this two years ago,” Kettel said. “I’ve had classes with two or three people in them and some that have had 25 people. I don’t keep count, but I estimate I’ve probably taught 275, maybe 300 people.”

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Kettel, who is both an Ironton firefighter and a special deputy with the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, is certified by the Ohio Peace Officers Training Council. His next class will begin later this month. The 12-hour class includes 10 hours of classroom instruction and two hours of practice at a firing range with a gun. The cost is $100 per person.

He said people from all backgrounds and all walks of life have expressed an interest in the CCW permit.

“I’ve had men who brought their wives in for the class. I had one kid who came to the class with his dad. Of course, you can’t get a permit until you’re 21. But he wanted to know about gun safety. And I had a 78-year-old man. He was a good shot, too. He had been in the military and was older and lived by himself. With crime the way it is today, he wanted to make sure he could still do it if the need arose. I started off with just about all men and now I’d say a good 30 percent of the people in the classes are women.”

Those who want more information

about the class or state regulations regarding the carrying of concealed weapons may call Kettel at (740) 646-3766.