Guns are more than an interest for one local retired officer. Not only does Joe Kirk own a gun repair store, he also teaches gun carry permit classes.
Kirk is a retired captain from the Durant Police Department and now owns Kirk’s Gun Repair in Bennington.
He began working on firearms while still employed with the Durant PD. His position on the force required him to have training on how to disassemble and reassemble a variety of weapons.
After fixing a woman’s gun one day she suggested Kirk make a business out of repairing them. After some thought, he did just that.
He began working out of his house and then a shed. His operation began outgrowing his work spaces until somebody suggested he buy an old bank that was no longer in use.
Kirk bought the building and transformed it into his store. Repairing guns is not the only thing from his Durant PD days that Kirk continues to do in retirement.
He also continued teaching gun handling and safety. His classes are the first step to obtaining a gun carry permit in Oklahoma.
Kirk said his classes stress safety above all else. Kirk said there are many people who own pistols and rifles in Oklahoma. “They’re gonna be out there anyway. I want them to be safe,” said Kirk.
He said that while guns are common in Oklahoma many people still do not fully understand how to use or carry them safely, or the laws governing their possession and use in Oklahoma.
Kirk also revealed that while informal training teaches how to shoot a gun many people are not learning the proper safety techniques while using them.
Kirk said he teaches six basic lessons for his students to practice. They are stance, grip, breathing, trigger finger placement, sight alignment and follow through.
He also teaches about current gun laws and myths about those laws. He said there are several myths that mislead people and can put them in troublesome or dangerous situations.
Kirk said the class is not just for men either. He said there has been a rising number in women taking his classes since he began teaching them.
Kirk said women are starting to protect themselves now instead of relying on someone else to always be there to protect them.
Kirk holds a gun carry permit class once a month, but he will be holding two in November. On November 2, Kirk will be offering a special class in conjunction with the Durant Rotary Club’s annual Gun and Knife Show.
All proceeds from the November 2 class will go to fund Rotary Club scholarships for Bryan County youths.
Kirk is also part of the Three Valley Riders Biker Club which will be heading up a dice run November 2. The dice run will begin at the Three Valley Museum in Durant and will end at the Durant Rotary Gun and Knife Show held at the Bryan County Fair Grounds.
It is at the Gun and Knife show that Kirk will be hosting his special class. The class will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost will be $60 per person. Kirk said he will then instruct attendees on how to finish getting their gun carry permits.
For more information or to sign up for the November 2 class, call Captain Joe Kirk at (580) 847-2267 or (580) 775-3720.