Since the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Enforcement Division began offering firearms safety training nearly 65 years ago, it has certified more than 1.3 million students — an average of about 20,000 per year.
Conservation officers are involved in the program, but it wouldn’t be possible without thousands of volunteers who hold classes and field days throughout the state. The same goes for the department's other safety education programs, such as ATV and snowmobile safety and bowhunter education.
There are more than 6,000 volunteer safety instructors in Minnesota, and some of them have been a part of the program since its earliest days. This spring, the Enforcement Division recognized one instructor who’s been teaching for 60 years; 14 who’ve been teaching 50 years; 16 who’ve been teaching 40 years and 36 who’ve been teaching for 30 years.
“The dedication of our volunteer instructors is nothing short of phenomenal,” said Capt. Jon Paurus, education/safety training programs manager for the division. “They truly are the backbone of our safety training programs and the reason these programs continue to be so successful.”
See mndnr.gov/events/safety_training.html for a full list of scheduled safety training classes.