Free gun training offer attracts over 200 Pinellas County teachers listen02/11/13 Lisa Marzilli
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This Saturday, when most folks will be sleeping in, doing chores or taking the kids to soccer, a group of Pinellas County school teachers will be learning how to handle a gun.
Lenny Bogdanos is president of International Executive Protection, a Clearwater firm that provides body guard, self-defense and firearms training. Heâ€™s waiving the $75 fee he normally charges for a four hour class for Pinellas County school teachers. The class covers everything from how to load and unload a weapon, how to store the ammunition, carry a weapon on your person and the laws that deal with all of it, The response to Bogdanosâ€™ offer has been so overwhelming he says heâ€™s had to add additional classes, at his own expense.
We had to cap the Saturday class and add another class on the 23rd and weâ€™ve already had to cap that oneâ€¦and weâ€™re not sure about what weâ€™re going to do about having a third date. Weâ€™ve had close to 400, 500 inquiries whether itâ€™s via email or phone, but definitely the registration is clearly over two hundred people.
And why do you think that is?
Thatâ€™s a good question...I think people just want to be aware of whatâ€™s going on and uphold their rights. If the law says that you need a concealed weapons permit to carry a gun with you; if you need a concealed weapons permit to legally have a firearm with you when you go to the movie theater, then why not have that right? I am not again saying that teachers should go to school with guns. I know thatâ€™s against the law and that wasnâ€™t my intent. My intent was genuine and sincere when I first put it on Facebook but it just spread and grew pretty rapidly and since I did offer it I wasnâ€™t going to go back on my word and say well now Iâ€™m not offering it and now I have to come out of pocket to pay for banquet rooms, extra instructors, material, literature and so forth.
When asked for comment about International Executive Protectionâ€™s offer to teachers, Pinellas County School spokeswoman Melanie Marquez Parra said the District â€œhas no affiliation with this organization and no association with the offer they are promoting to educators.â€ She also cited school board policy and Florida law which currently prohibits any person or employee from carrying a firearm onto school property, even if it is securely locked in a motor vehicle in a parking lot, with the exception of law enforcement.