GREENVILLE, Ky. (3/7/13) – Linda Thompson has been a registered nurse for over 35 years, and is now going for her Master’s degree. She is a devoted wife and mother. She is also the only licensed female concealed weapon instructor in Muhlenberg County, and one of only ten female instructors in the state.
Thompson says she became interested because she "saw a need there. Everyone expects an attack to occur in a dark alley or a parking lot, and that's just not the way it is. You need to be able to defend yourself and your family no matter where you are. A concealed weapon is simply a means of accomplishing that."
Ms. Thompson's husband, Wayne, agrees. "You're hearing more and more about home invasions these days and the women are more likely the ones who are at home. They are the ones that are more vulnerable, so it just makes sense that women learn the safe use of a concealed weapon," he said.
Although there's been a lot more talk recently about concealed carry defense, Ms. Thompson is no newcomer.
"I received my permit almost 9 years ago. I took my concealed carry class in Madisonville. After that I began to see a need among women I am friends with, and those I work with, so I decided to get the necessary training to teach classes to them. I saw that women are more intimidated by men instructors sometimes when they teach a class. I just saw a need to have classes taught by women for women. The response has been overwhelming. More and more women are coming to classes." she said.
Classes are held just outside Greenville at Cottonmouth Lodge on Greens Chapel Road.
"It's a state required training. We go over where you can carry, what you can carry. It takes a minimum of six hours. Then you go down to our range to qualify. You have to fire 20 rounds at a target seven yards away. The state requires you have 11 hits inside the black of the target. When you complete the class, which costs $75.00, we send the results to the state. We state that you either passed or failed. Within 14 days you receive a package from the state. You take that to the Kentucky State Police and also to the Sheriff's office with the necessary fees. They conduct a background check. A few things that will keep you from getting a license include a record of domestic violence, a felony conviction, 2 DUIs within a 3 year period, or if you've been committed to a mental health facility," Thompson explained.
"In the class we teach about carrying a concealed weapon, use and misuse of force, legal liability, and how to store your weapon safely,” Thompson said, adding, "You must be 21 years of age to obtain a license. I have noticed more women are getting their license. Females are realizing they need some way to protect themselves because there may not be someone there all the time to protect them," she said.
Mr. Thompson added, "We have really noticed the number of women getting their Concealed Carry license is really going up fast. It was about one in 20 nine years ago. Now that number is up to 10 in 20. That's quite a jump.”
Training classes are set up for the first Saturday of each month. You can get more information on Facebook at Kentucky Concealed Carry, or call 270-338-0909.
Mr. Thompson emphasized that there is no pressure. “We are there to see that you qualify. We'll work with you as much as is needed to make sure you qualify. But just because you get a permit, this does not make you an expert. All it does is allow you to carry the weapon. You need to go to a firing range. When you walk out of your house with that weapon, things have changed. You have a huge responsibility."
Photo provided by Paul McRee
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