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Cop aims for armed citizens

KATIE LOOBY
grand county correspondent
Special to the DailyBob Dillon teaches one of his students in his increasingly popular concealed-carry firearm course near Kremmling. Students learn about the law, safety and proper shooting techniques.
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A Kremmling police officer who started his own business teaching a course on carrying a concealed weapon can barely keep up with the demand.

“It snowballed,” said Bob Dillon, who offers the classes independently of his work as a cop. “It’s becoming more than I can do on my own.”

About 230 people already signed up to take the course this year, compared with the nearly 100 students who registered last year, and Dillon has enlisted his children to help with the instruction that is attracting people from across the state to Kremmling.

“This course teaches confidence,” he said.

“(It’s) for somebody who wants to protect themselves,” he said.

The basic course lasts eight hours and can be completed in one day.

Dillon, 52, allows 20 students in each of his classes, which include information and training about the Colorado statues related to concealed-carry permits, weapon and safety information.

“I just believe in armed citizens,” he said. “I always have and always will.”

Dillon, 52, has been a police officer for nearly 20 years and is chairman of the local chapter of Friends of the National Rifle Association Foundation.

He is certified as a police firearms instructor in handgun and shotgun; certified by the FBI in shotgun and pistol; and is certified by the NRA in police handgun, police shotgun and police patrol rifle, and is a certified pistol and personal protection instructor.

Carrying a concealed weapon is legal in Colorado with proper training and permitting, and Dillon said that crime is lower in states that allow gun permits.

“It is a deterrent,” Dillon said. “The bad guys don’t know who has a gun out there.”

About a quarter of his classes are attended by women.

People from all occupations sign up, including doctors, lawyers, judges, construction workers and students, he said.

“I get a kick out of watching them,” Dillon said.

“It ends up being a real fun day.”

Each participant shoots 100 to 150 rounds at the range at the Blue Valley Sportsmans Club Range, located on Colorado 9, about 11 miles south of Kremmling.

If students pass the course, they receive a certificate that allows them to apply for a concealed weapon permit.

After the course is completed, students can continue to learn in the advanced classes he offers. He also teaches defensive shotgun and assault-rifle classes.

Students in the self-defense class learn, “how to avoid getting in a situation, but if you do get in a situation, how to get out of it,” Dillon said.

“Our main concern is that everyone’s safe,” Dillon said.

“We want them to feel that they can win if they get into a confrontation.”


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