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RIO GRANDE — A gun range will offer free firearms training to teachers in the wake of the school shooting that killed 17 people in Parkland, Florida.

Christopher Chin, a former U.S. Marine and former officer in the Cape May County Sheriff’s Department, is an NRA certified trainer at Range 609 in Rio Grande. He will instruct teachers on basic firearms safety in hopes of increasing security in local schools, he said.

“This isn’t promoting having guns in the classroom, it’s to get teachers more familiar with firearms,” he said. “I think you are going to see an armed security guard in schools, and I am doing this just in case, God forbid, something happened to that guard if there is an incident.”

Chin added he believes if teachers at least have some experience with a gun, lives could be saved in the event of a shooting.

The class is offered on an as-needed basis, with the first two starting this weekend. About 10 teachers total are attending and all teach in Cape May County. All instructions, firearm rental and limited ammunition will be free.

“I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while,” Chin said. “But after (the Parkland, Florida shooting) I just think you are going to see changes. I don’t think it’s a problem if you treat this like an air marshal on an airplane.”

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Contact: 609-272-7260 Twitter @ACPressDeRosier

I joined The Press in January 2016 after graduating from Penn State in December 2015. I was the sports editor for The Daily Collegian on campus which covered all 31 varsity sports and several club sports.

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