FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) — It’s a busy Thursday afternoon at Shoot Smart Indoor Range and Training Center in Fort Worth.

Stephen and Diane Richardson are ready to get their hands on a gun and spend several hours at the range.

“I never shot a gun before,” says Stephen Richardson from Fort Worth. “I want to be a responsible gun owner.”

The Richardsons are looking to buy their very first gun.

“I want to learn how to protect myself,” says Diane Richardson. “I also want to learn how to keep the guns safe in my home that if I have my grandchildren over they are not going to find it by accident and shoot themselves.”

At Shoot Smart there are a lot of families like the Richardsons.

Roxanne Laney, the owner, says the numbers have skyrocketed since the Connecticut shootings.

“On a weekend I’d say half the people that come in are new shooters,” says Laney.

On any given weekend now the gun range works with about 180 people and half are new gun owners.

“It’s like driving a car — no one gets a license for a car without taking any lessons,” says Laney. “We feel that the real issue is not what kind of gun people have or how many cartridges are in your magazines. The real issue is that people are not safe with their guns.”

Starting February 17 Shoot Smart is offering free firearms safety classes.

The classes will include locking firearms, separating firearms and ammunition, and securing access to firearms in the home.

Laney says the classes normally cost between $25 to $50 and will be offered on the first and third Sundays of each month at 6 p.m.. Only 20 seats are available for the 90-minute classes.

Kim Spain likes the idea and will be taking part. “I just wanted to try my gun and get used to it before I take the Concealed Handgun Class.”


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