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Handgun safety courses quickly filling up in county

Soon after the election of President Barack Obama, thousands of people began filing for handgun carry permits nationwide, most likely assuming a largely democratic White House and Congress would enact stricter gun laws. While those stricter laws have never materialized, the rate of gun ownership has continued to steadily grow during the past four years. In 2010, there were more than 114,000 new gun permits issued in Tennessee.
An overwhelming majority of Tennesseans take their Second Amendment rights very seriously and that is also evident in upper East Tennessee as almost 800 Johnson County residents have handgun permits per statistics released by the Tennessee Department of Safety this March, up 18 percent from the previous record. As of mid-October, more than 335,000 residents statewide had permits allowing them to carry handguns.
Previously Johnson County residents have had to travel to neighboring Carter County to attend class, but now, thanks to the effort of Tennessee Highway Patrol officer Eddie Tester, residents can take the class, a required prerequisite to applying for a permit to carry a handgun, in Johnson County.
“I just thought Johnson Countians should not have to travel so far for this type of class,” said Trooper Tester, “so I contacted certified concealed carry permit instructor Ken Potter, who teaches hand gun carry permit classes in both Carter and Unicoi Counties, and he was happy to conduct classes here, in Johnson County, for interested participants.” So far, the two classes conducted here have been filled to near capacity, and another is scheduled for Saturday, July 7th.
For more information pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.