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Walk about long enough and bump into old friends


Electronic fingerprints are made easy by a computer and scanning device
at Fast Cash Pawn Shop in Sevierville off Highway 411. The technician is
Stephanie Nickell, at right, fingerprinting Vennessa Painter, who works as
a therapist and is required to have prints on file with the TBI and FBI.
More and more workers are required to have electronic fingerprints as part
of tighter security in America.
Published: 4:37 PM, 03/15/2013

Author: David Popiel
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

Winter is determined not to let go quickly as it peppered our hometown with snow and sleet last Wednesday, but you may not have noticed still being under the groggy influence of time change.

For now we will finish our gun handling training with Sheriff Armando Fontes, Detective Kevin Benton and others in law enforcement who take the time to keep citizens safe. I hope to begin a chat with Jerry Hall and soon a story that I came across on lost diamond rings. Despite the cool weather, Brockwell Construction workers were at the future home of Memorial Baptist Church last week rebuilding the roof of the giant metal building sold at auction last year. During a drive to Sevierville I also stopped at Fast Cash Pawn to learn more about electronic fingerprinting as part of my story on handgun carry permits. Owner Roy Jones gave me a lot of information you will hear soon.


Better security for children


Sheriff Fontes has written an explanation of the "Active Shooter/Personal Protection and Safety Education" program for the handgun carry permit class. As a strong believer in the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms, he tempers this with gun owners' responsibility. Those with weapons should store and keep them locked and secure away from children and thieves. The classes not only teach this, but legal issues concerning guns and defense. By the way, to sign up for a future class just call 423-623-6004 and leave your name and phone number. You will be contacted about the next free class. But you can always contact Capt. Kevin Benton.

Sheriff Fontes said that in recent weeks he has been working with school administration to help do safety and security surveys of our schools. You will be reading more about this in the Plain Talk. He does not believe that the answer to protect school children is to arm teachers with guns but to have a stronger law enforcement presence and more training for teachers. To this aim, he begins in 2013 a program specifically for teachers to teach them how to protect themselves and their school children. "You don't want a teacher cowering in fear in the corner with their children. You want them to see what is available to protect the children should an intruder break in." Teachers will learn more about spotting mental illness, understanding self defense, using deadly force, protection of private and public property, carrying a weapon." Also, citizens who are not teachers interested in the program can sign up for classes in the day, 9 p.m. until 3 p.m. or two sessions three hours each at nights. Part of these classes includes self-defense, which will be taught by jail shift supervisor Pam McAmis.


Quick overview of process


You may find out the hardest thing to do in order to obtain a handgun carry permit is to sign up for the gun safety and training classes. Most every county has at least one expert trainer and Cocke County does in Capt. Benton with the sheriff's dept. After several hours of classroom training you take a written test. The written test, which you should easily pass, because the classroom presentation covers every question, takes perhaps 15-20 minutes. There are also some forms to fill out that are mandatory and part of the paperwork to prove you actually went to a firing range to shoot a handgun. Once you complete firing a few dozen bullets mostly hitting the paper targets you get certified to take the final steps in obtaining the Tennessee Department of Safety issued permit.

You are warned by Kevin and others that you have only six months from the date of the training class to complete the application process. 

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