Church Leaders Offered Firearms Training

By Huba, Stephen | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 10, 2018 | Go to article overview

Church Leaders Offered Firearms Training


Huba, Stephen, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Local church leaders concerned about shootings at their places of worship soon will have a chance to get actual firearms training, including range time.

Rodney Smith, a Westmoreland County native and certified firearms instructor, plans to return to the area June 22-23 to offer a 16-hour advanced security course to interested churches.

Smith, 59, of Flowery Branch, Ga., taught free, three-hour courses in Bolivar, New Florence and Fairfield Township last year and at a Hempfield church in February. Nearly 100 people attended the first round of training sessions for the general public.

The upcoming course is for pastors and lay leaders who have a state firearms permit and who can bring their own handgun and ammunition.

“What we train is situation awareness, active shooter, active threat, use of deadly force, carry laws and room clearing,” Smith said. “Our goal is to enhance our students’ awareness to respond and react to an active threat situation.”

Smith, a native of Bolivar, founded the Georgia Firearms and Security Training Academy in July 2015, a month after a white supremacist killed nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S. …

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