Training, preparation paramount as number of gun permits soar

Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Over a 2-week period in November, more than 3,000 Tennesseans applied for gun permits.

A record number of people are now arming themselves, but these new gun owners don’t often have the experience or training to handle a handgun.

Without those two things, your weapon is worthless. Preparation can prolong your life.

But a gun range is not real life and a large number of gun owners don’t use them.

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

Leroy Farris is the range master at Nashville Armory and has a well-versed law enforcement background.

“You have to make a decision in a split second whether you should use deadly force or not use deadly force,” Farris said of those in situations their handgun may be needed.

A home break-in confrontation isn’t something that be re-created at target practice.

So Farris offers decision-based training at the Armory.

There are simulated scenarios that test the inexperienced in how well they’d do in self-defense with a gun.

News 2’s Eric Egan was put to the test to face a home intruder. “With no prior training, I missed bad,” he said.

“Third shot, not even close. Fourth shot, just missed. Fifth, finally,” Egan added.

The simulator tracked when he took his shots and where they went. It took him 5 shots and the simulated intruder being 1 to 3 feet away for him to hit.

In a life or death situation, it’s common to lose your cool. Adrenaline pumps, you get tunnel vision, and even memory loss can kick in along with heart racing.

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

“Heart rate is going to go up pretty quick,” Farris said. “People don’t do the same, don’t do as well, with motor skills [in those situations].”

It’s why training is paramount.

Farris also teaches the right way to hold a pistol and gives basic coaching, which can make a world of difference.

After getting some tips, Egan headed back to the simulator. He missed his first shot, but his second shot was “pretty good.”

The lesson is that real life is unpredictable, but training can prepare you.

The most important rule is to exercise extreme care and caution because deadly force is irreversible.

Some other simple things to remember: When holding a firearm, keep your finger off the trigger and point it toward a safe place.

And for anyone interested, Farris also offers personal protection and in-home classes. Read more at

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