As a pastor, Gary Smith has been guiding people in Christianity for more than 30 years, leading his congregation York, PA, Agape Fellowship Church since 2005.
This summer, the 59-year-old certified National Rifle Association instructor launched Point Blank Defense, where he teaches members of his church and others to defend themselves and also offers live-round range training.
In two months, Pastor Smith has already taught 100 students, who pay between $50 and $65 for his three-and-a-half hour basic handgun safety course, with an additional fee for rangetime and live-ammo training.
It goes without saying that Smith is an advocate of gun safety, proper training and personal protection, all with a decidedly Christian flavor.
“On this side of heaven, we live in a wrecked world,” Smith told the Yorkville Daily Record this week. “Christians or not Christians, if legally we can carry or not carry, I don’t see anything wrong with a pastor or others carrying.”
Smith told the York newspaper that his strong conviction that handgun ownership and carrying for personal defense is a personal choice but requires proper training and practice led him to open his business.
The Point Blank Defense basic classroom handgun safety course includes the following curriculum:
- Gun owner’s responsibilities
- Pistol action types (single action, double action, semi-auto)
- Causes of firearm accidents
- Rules for safe gun handling
- Ammunition knowledge, malfunctions (misfire, hang fire, squib loads)
- Fundamentals of shooting (grip, aiming, trigger pull, breathing)
- Safely storing guns and ammo
- In-class demonstration/participation.
- Loading, unloading, cocking, de-cocking (no live ammunition)
- Pennsylvania Castle Doctrine
- Legally transporting a firearm from state to state (Reciprocity)