(COSBY, Mo.) Four weeks after a gunman shot and killed 17 people at a Florida high school, debate over gun control remains a top priority among local and national lawmakers.
National legislators continued discussing multiple gun regulations that have been proposed in congress like enforcing stricter background checks, increasing the national age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 and arming educators in schools.
While the debate will continue to rage on, forty people gathered in Cosby, Missouri, Sunday morning and afternoon to learn how to properly carry and shoot a firearm.
"Unfortunately, sometimes we may have to use our gun," Vonda Smith, handgun training student, said. "I hope I never have to, but I just wanted to learn in case I ever did have to."
Smith traveled 90 miles to participate in the class. She says she's owned a gun for about a year, but wanted to learn the proper way to use it
"I think you better [prepare] yourself as far as protecting yourself and maybe some family members, or maybe somebody else out there that needs help."
Smith isn't the only person thinking about her family's safety. Jesse Montemayor also took the course and works for the Missouri Department of Corrections. He gets firearm training through his job but said it's important to keep practicing.
"To keep ourselves protected at home. It's a little bit different than working on the job when you're working around the public," Montemayor said.
The training covered how to safety assemble a firearm, how to correctly hold a handgun and how to shoot at a target, among other things.
"How to point your guns, how to aim it in a safe direction and know what's your target and what's beyond it," Montemayor said.
Students like Smith said after the training, they felt more confident in their ability to safely use a firearm
"It makes me feel a lot more comfortable just to take the class and learn how to use my gun," Smith said.
Midwest Best Handgun Instructors will hold another Concealed Carry Class on March 25th. To learn more about signing up, visit their website.