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Is gun training adequate?

This is in response to the letter written by Mr. Robert Foster (Oct. 14, "Gun permit holders careful"). In his letter, Mr. Foster attempts to reassure us that the safeguards, i.e., background checks and training, for those applying for a concealed firearm permit are adequate.

While I'm not familiar with the extent and/or reliability of the background check being done on applicants, I do have some serious misgivings regarding the length, range and quality of training provided. It is my understanding that these "licensed instructors" are only required to cover certain topic areas with no specific requirements of hours.Therefore, one instructor is free to cover the material in an hour or two while another may take as much as four or five hours. This certainly raises a lot of questions regarding the breadth and depth of the content covered, not to mention competency with the weapon carried.

Compare this to the required training for law enforcement personnel who are required to carry a firearm. I'm not certain about Utah, but in California under POST requirements, the initial training exceeds 40 hours, including a great deal of focus on when to display and/or fire the weapon (shoot/no-shoot decisionmaking). Annually thereafter, each individual much complete additional training, including periodic qualification with the firearm carried.

I have no real arguments with qualified and competent citizens having the right to be armed, but I'm more than a little uneasy with the level of knowledge and competency required of them to do so.

Al Smith

Pleasant Grove