It could be true that a “good guy” with a gun can stop a “bad guy” with a gun, but anyone with a gun can also make a dangerous situation even worse if they aren’t properly trained.

Gun safety is crucial for anyone who handles or is even in the vicinity of firearms, and it’s more important for those who would like to conceal and carry a handgun, even though residents aren’t legally required to obtain a permit under Missouri law.

Law enforcement agencies like the Audrain County Sheriff’s Office offer concealed carry of weapons classes that help gun owners master their firearms. The most recently scheduled class on Saturday was canceled because only two people signed up for the training, but another class will be scheduled and listed on the office’s Facebook page, Detective Andy Femrite said.

These types of classes are important despite the legality of carrying concealed guns in Missouri without a permit. That’s certainly true if you’re one of the heroic people who would come to the rescue in an active shooter situation. The best of intentions could quickly lead to further tragedy without proper training and exceptional aim amid intense situations.

“You are responsible for every round you fire,” Femrite said during a telephone interview.

Most of the people who have taken the class did very well, because many residents in rural Audrain County grew up around firearms and learned to respect them, Femrite said.

But just because family members taught you to shoot before you could recite all of the ABCs doesn’t mean you wouldn’t benefit from some additional training and practice, especially for those who often publicly carry and don’t have military or law enforcement experience.

The training is beneficial for all gun owners, not just those who carry, whether you’re a beginner or sharpshooter, Femrite said. The training offers personal lessons and corrections on best shooting practices, so if you’re frequently hitting the target a little low and to the left, they can help with that.

Participants shoot a minimum of 100 rounds, and in between short chains of fire, the instructors diagnose issues and help improve upon techniques.

Those who complete the training can also legally carry a concealed weapon in the states that recognize Missouri permits. Illinois does not recognize Missouri permits, and Nebraska only does for those age 21 and older, but the other adjacent states accept Show Me permits.

Allen Fennewald is a GateHouse Missouri regional editor who can be contacted at