The Pike County Sheriff’s Office in Alabama is teaching a gun safety course for women.

The Pike County Sheriff’s Office in Alabama is still offering gun safety classes more than two years after a series of sexual assaults prompted many local women to purchase handguns in an effort to protect themselves.

According to the Troy Messenger, the sheriff’s office has a waiting list, and when enough names are on it, Sgt. Henry Wentland and Deputy Kevin Childs schedule the free class.

“All we teach you to do is protect you and yours,” Wentland said. “It’s sad, today in these United States, you’ve got to sleep with your doors locked and a gun beside you.”

As the Troy Messenger reports, the classes are two hours long, but Wentland and Childs will often stay longer and continue teaching, even offering to go with students to purchase a gun and ammunition.

“We just want you to be safe and have a good time. Shooting is a mind thing. Once you conquer it, you’ll have fun,” Wentland told one class. “Most women are timid about a firearm, about 95 percent probably. But it’s a muscle memory. The more you shoot the more confident you’ll be.”

The Troy Messenger reported that Saturday’s class started with a rundown of different calibers and ammunition available. Wentland also went over the advantages and disadvantages of automatics, and gave his firearm recommendation for women.

“My preference for a lady is a .38 Smith and Wesson,” he said. “It’ll shoot every time.”

Wentland and Childs teach students how to handle, load, unload and shoot a firearm. They also go over drills on how to react when under attack.

“If you shoot somebody, you’re not shooting just to play with them,” Wentland said. “If you shoot them, shoot till they fall.”

To sign up, contact the sheriff’s office at or by calling 566-4347.

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