New store targets campus safety

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With the Colorado Supreme Court recently overturning a University of Colorado ban on concealed weapons, a new Centennial gun store aims to teach safe concealed-carry practices.

The Gun Store at Centennial, 6649 S. Paris Street, is opening March 21 and will immediately offer Prepare U campus safety courses.

The state Concealed Carry Act was enacted in 2003 and allows concealed guns in all areas of the state, with a few specific exemptions not including college campuses. The CU regents subsequently banned concealed weapons, a decision the Colorado Supreme Court struck down March 5.

“The Second Amendment doesn’t have any limitations as to where or when you can carry a gun, and I think the Supreme Court came down on the right side of that,” said Dick Abramson, general manager of The Gun Store.

Mass shootings such as the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007 get most of the media attention, but less-extreme scenarios that put law-abiding citizens at risk are far more common, Abramson said.

Universities that don’t allow legal concealed weapons are potentially putting their students and staff at a disadvantage, he added.

“As gun-free zones, only the bad guys have guns and the good guys don’t have any way of protecting themselves,” Abramson said.

The Prepare U classes are aimed at college staff and students ages 21 and older. The curriculum will include a study of the Second Amendment, firearm maintenance protocol and hands-on self-defense practice.

The course will start with basic avoidance and awareness training to help college students and staff stay out of dangerous situations altogether. Non-lethal weapons such as Tasers and pepper spray also will be addressed.

“What we’re looking at is a course that would include pretty much anything a student would want as far as personal safety goes,” said training director Nicole Sundine, who formerly served with the Lone Tree Police Department and was named the law enforcement trainer of the year in 2010.

The Gun Store will also offer more than 16 other courses taught by expert local and national instructors. The classes include basic firearm use, hunter awareness, advanced tactics for law enforcement personnel and youth gun safety. All the lectures take place in a classroom adjacent to the main 3,000-square-foot store.

The retail space will have everything from knives to rifles, as well as accessories and safety equipment. The Gun Store features a six-lane shooting range that allows shooters to position targets as far away as 20 yards. A grand opening ceremony is scheduled for 3 to 6 p.m. March 21.