Foothills Firearms Training Center in Liberty is offering free concealed weapons permit classes to victims of domestic violence who can show valid court-issued restraining orders.
"For years we've been either No. 1 or No. 2 in the nation in the number of women that are killed each year by domestic partners," said owner Larry Smith.
Smith said he has seen hundreds of men and women who have restraining orders against a spouse or significant other who want to protect themselves. He said limitations in federal law are the reason so many people, particularly women, are killed in domestic disputes by handguns.
According to smartgunlaws.org, "Federal law prohibiting subjects of protective orders from purchasing or possessing firearms and ammunition applies only if the protective order was issued after notice to the abuser and a hearing."
That is why Smith wanted to make it free for victims to exercise their right to a concealed carry permit based on South Carolina law.
"Whatever their level of concern is for their safety, they're gonna get what they need," Smith said.
The gun range also offers free CWP classes to veterans and service members.
FOX Carolina reached out to several domestic violence victims' advocates, including shelters, who declined to comment on what they thought of Smith's free classes. One group we spoke with said they opposed it but would not elaborate on their position.
For more information on the range's classes, click here. For further information on federal and state gun regulations, particularly regarding guns and domestic violence, click here.
Copyright 2014 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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