Education, safety top priorities for local gun dealer
By SEAN SHAPIRO
There is a wide and vast selection of items at A Texas Girl’s Guns, but one of the most important things The Gun Shop in Liberty Hill sells does not fit into a holster.
That’s the education Judith and Dennis Baker provide in the classroom in the back of the shop near the intersection of State Highway 29 and RR 1869.
“We provide a large number of things, but it’s really important that people understand how to properly and safely handle guns,” Judith Baker said. “That’s an important service for us to provide. We want to teach and encourage gun safety.”
Prior to opening the gun shop, Mrs. Baker was training active-duty military in handgun instruction. She is certified by the Texas Department of Public Safety to teach the Texas Concealed Handgun course and is also certified by Texas Parks and Wildlife to teach Hunter’s Education.
For Mrs. Baker, one of the most important classes available is a pistol training course. She designed and planned the curriculum for the five and one-half hour course, which she suggests should be taken before concealed handgun licensing (CHL) training.
In the pistol training course, Mrs. Baker teaches students the basics for handling pistols, and more importantly, safety precautions that everyone should follow. She said it isn’t just a beginner’s course, as some more veteran gun owners – who may already have a CHL – have said they enjoyed and learned from the course.
“I had one person come in and told me this course saved their life,” she said. “I asked him how. He said, ‘I had my gun, pointed at the kitchen floor, convinced it was empty. But, something in my head kept telling me to treat every gun like it’s loaded. Because of that, I double checked and it was loaded.’ They had a hard, granite flooring, if he didn’t check, the bullet could have ricocheted and killed him.”
Mrs. Baker also encourages families and couples to take the pistol training course together. She said if there is a gun in a house, it’s important that each member of the household knows how to properly handle it and avoid potentially devastating accidents.
It’s not required, but once they have completed the pistol training course, Mrs. Baker then encourages students to get their CHL. The CHL course is a two-day event, with classroom time Saturday, and a trip to the range on Sunday.
There are many places to get a CHL certification, however, Mrs. Baker said one cannot put a price on learning from the right professionals.
A Texas Girl’s Guns also offers hunter education courses at her shop on Sundays, which starts to become more popular with full deer hunting season opening Nov. 1.
One can also take firearms maintenance and Reloading 101 at The Gun Shop in Liberty Hill. Mrs. Baker added that she is working on a defensive handgun course, but is still tweaking the program.
“I’m not going to teach anything until we’ve perfected it. I don’t want to teach anything that I’m not 100 percent confident in yet,” she said. “I know there’s a want for that, but they’ll have to wait until it’s ready.”