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If you are  motivated to take a shooting course at least partly because you want to be able to defend yourself with a firearm should you find it necessary to do so, I am suggesting that completing a basic course does not prepare you to defend yourself with a pistol.  More advanced courses are available to learn how to do that. 

Having said that, in our view it is almost as important that you understand the law, at least with respect to the use of deadly force, as it is to be accomplished in defensive shooting techniques. 

Assuming that  Mr. Zimmerman (currently accused of second degree murder in Florida), had done what he apparently did in Georgia rather than in Florida, do you think that he would be allowed a claim of self-defense?  The answer is that he might not be allowed that affirmative defense because in Georgia you are allowed to use deadly force if your life or that of an innocent is at risk IF you did not precipitate the incident.  Following a suspicious person is not standing your ground.  Being armed for self-defense does not empower us to act as a law enforcement officer unless we happen to be a Law Enforcement Officer.

Based on conversations I have frequently with civilians, many of whom are licensed to carry, I can state with certainty that most people who have incorporated firearms in their personal protection strategy and almost all who are just thinking about it do NOT know what restrictions are in effect based on Georgia and Federal law.

WE HAVE DEVELOPED A SHORT CLASS TO ADDRESS THESE ISSUES.

The first Sunday of each month SMFTS offers a Firearms and the Law class from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm that addresses in terms of federal and Georgia law, the possession and transport, oof firearms and in Georgia law, concealed carry rights and limitations, the use of handguns and the use of deadly force.  It is usually takes about a five hours.  It's purpose is to make sure that you know what the laws are that govern our effort to exercise our Second Amendment rights. 

There are at least 116 statutes in Georgia to accomplish that and the number is likely to increase over time.  You can read them yourself by clicking here.  Not all of those statutes apply to you and I will tell you that there is a significant amount of cross reference within several of those laws.  The NRA has a link to federal laws here.

Our course takes five hours or so of your time and only $70 from your wallet.  If you are not a member of GeorgiaCarry.org we will pay your first years dues from your course fee.  WHAT WE ARE DOING HERE IS SUBSIDIZING YOUR ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP FEE FOR THIS OUTSTANDING ORGANIZATION.

We think that is a good value and so do at least three local assistant DAs.  For those of you who eventually want to take any of the NRA self defense course from me or any SMFTS self-defense courses, attending this class is a prerequisite.  

Disclaimer:  Neither the primary instructor or I are lawyers nor does anything in this class constitute legal advice.  The purpose here is to educate you as to what laws affect you and ensure that you know where to find them, where you can purchase insurance to cover a self-defense shooting and where you can find legal representation.  

We hope to see you in one of these classes.  You can register for the class by clicking here and submitting a registration form.  If you would like to see a more detailed list of what we cover please click here.

If you decide not to attend and if armed self-defense is your thing please take the time to examine the laws so that, should you have to shoot in self-defense you are less likely to end up at the defendant's table in a court room and that if you should end up in that situation that you have competent counsel and should you prevail that you have insurance to cover the cost of your defense.