Friday, June 12, 2009

SV mayor: Letís learn guns

Willich encourages city employees to get instruction

Express Staff Writer

Sun Valley Mayor Wayne Willich, who received his concealed weapons permit this spring, is encouraging city staff members to take a handgun safety course taught by members of the Sun Valley Police Department.

The two-day course will be held later this month. Willich said that about six of the city's 23 full-time employees have signed up for the classroom and gun-range sessions.

"I'm not encouraging people to own or carry weapons and we're not going to be handing guns out to people," Willich said Thursday. "But concealed weapons permits are up in the county and I have an uncomfortable feeling that people are just casually buying handguns without taking any kind of class, and I don't think that's such a good idea. We can't just stick our heads in the sand about this."

About 1,500 people have received concealed weapons permits from the Blaine County Sheriff's Office.

Willich said the class is intended for public benefit. He added that if he was the mayor in a state with more restrictive gun laws, such as Massachusetts, then his initiative would be unnecessary, because few residents would own firearms.

"This is Idaho and there are individuals in Sun Valley with guns," Willich said. "We don't have radically restrictive gun laws and we want to encourage these residents to have the proper safety training."

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