Georgia homeowners packed a gun safety class in Henry County on Thursday to learn how to protect their families and homes.
More than 100 people attended the class, including Gina Hughes, who said the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo. last summer motivated her to get a gun permit.
"That is what caused me to get a permit…because I was afraid the laws were going to change. I did kind of panic there for a minute, thinking what if I can't get a permit at a later date," Hughes said.
Hughes and her mother said they want guns for protection.
"I just want to know how to handle a gun in case I need it. I don't want to kill anybody. But I do want to protect myself," said Jo Milligan.
Henry County Sheriff Keith McBrayer says it's a common theme in the county, where he says probate court issues 700 to 800 permits a month.
"There's just a huge debate about guns, and what's going to happen. And everything we see is people want to have some -- not just one but they want to purchase them when they know they can, and if there's a lot of them in homes and a lot of young kids, we just got to have some safety programs for that," McBrayer said.
More women than men attended the class. Some of them are brand new gun owners, like Lynn Christmas who bought a 9 mm three weeks ago. She's said that she's still getting comfortable with the thought.
"A little shaky about it still. That's why I'm trying to educate myself more, so I'll feel comfortable. I don't want to pull it out if I'm not going to be able to use it and have it used back on me," Christmas said.
Other classes will be held on March 28 at the Henry County Administration Building, April 11 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, and April 23 at the Locust Grove Senior Center in Locust Grove.
Authorities stress not to bring a gun to any of the classes.
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