Open-carry training course to be held for law enforcement

Open-carry training course to be held for law enforcement

RUSK COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - It's still months away, but an East Texas Sheriff's Department is already training on how they will handle East Texans openly carrying their firearms.

The Rusk County Sheriff's Department and the Henderson Police Department are holding a free open carry training course for law enforcement on September 15 at the Henderson Civic Center. The open carry law takes effect on January 1, 2016.

"We're holding the training to get the officers up to speed on the new open carry laws that are coming: what the laws are, how they are going to apply, when and where people can openly carry and, most importantly, how to approach and have an interaction with someone who is openly carrying," Rusk County Sheriff, Jeff Price, said.

Sheriff Price hopes that with proper knowledge of the law, officers will have less problems with people who do decide to carry.

"It gives the officer a lot of background and a lot of history in open carry legalities, case laws, constitutional law and it gives the officer the knowledge that when he does come up on someone open carrying and how to approach and talk to them in regard to open carry," Sheriff Price explained.

There are two sessions for officers to attend; one from 9 a.m.- 12 p.m. and another from 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. Sheriff Price expects for there to be over one hundred officers taking the course.

"I'm sending my entire department. I know Henderson Police Department is sending their entire department," Sheriff Price added.  

Many people in Henderson think the training will be beneficial for law enforcement.

"I think the training is good. I don't see how training could hurt anybody," Ben Thomas said.

"I do believe there's a fine line between an individual's rights and them trying to keep the public safe," Bobby Pool said.

"I do believe that police should have the right to check and make sure that just anybody's not walking down the street with a gun on," he added.

If any law enforcement officials are interested in attending the course, contact the Rusk County Sheriff's Office or ETCOG.

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