LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A Las Vegas combat medic is offering free firearms training courses. He said he wants to teach gun owners how to use their weapons responsibly.

Robert Hoey said he typically trains EMTs and offers CPR and first aid classes. He said his gun safety course is focused on how to use one, only as self-defense. And he stressed these lessons are only for that moment, if ever, your back is up against the wall.

“I came out here because I bought a gun recently and I’m trying to get more comfortable using it,” Dorshae Hendrix said.

She said she had never held a gun or saw one in her house growing up.

“I’m still iffy on it,” she said. “I haven't gotten super comfortable with it.”

But she first bought one after moving into her own apartment.

“Around that time someone did try to break into our house,” Hendrix said. “We thought ‘Well, we should get a gun just in case.’”

So now she said she wants to learn how to use it.

“If you have a gun and you're not prepared to use it, you don't know how to use it, and you haven't practiced in a long time - and someone breaks in - you're more likely to hurt yourself,” Hoey said. “This class is centered around self defense.”

Hoey is a trained combat medic, but he said the lessons here are centered around protecting yourself and your property. Hoey said he first saw the need for this class after talking to his friends.

“Almost everybody owns guns but very few of them actually know how to use the hardware that they own,” he said. “They say, ‘Well, I have it tucked away in the closet, but I haven't used it in years.’”

Hoey’s class not only focuses on how to use a gun, but also how to store your weapon safely, especially around children.

“The point is you have to learn how to handle these responsibly,” he said.

Hoey added knowing the right time to use a gun is just as important.

“De-escalation is key,” he said. “We do offer de-escalation classes as well. If you pull out the gun, you're pulling it out strictly to protect yourself in self defense.”

While the classes are free, Hoey said he also collected donations. He said he uses those to fund his nonprofit Shadows of Hope, which provides food and medical supplies to homeless people living in the storm drains.

Copyright 2019 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved

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(1) comment

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One risk factor is many civilians handle personal weapons entirely too often. In situations that frankly make no sense. If civilians enjoy firing for recreation they are certainly free to do so. But when doing so the risk does go up. A civilian weapon is primarily an emergency self defense mission only. And with offensive action off limits, expert marksmanship in self defense formats is rarely required. Because in true self defense, hostile targets are never down the street or on the next block. They are most always point blank in front of you.

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