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Sunday May 24th, 2015 9:26AM

Couch exploring sheriff's office hosted firearms safety classes

By Derreck Booth Anchor/reporter
GAINESVILLE - As the gun control debate rages in the nation's capitol, Hall County's new sheriff said he's a strong second amendment supporter.

Gerald Couch said he grew up learning how to handle and respect firearms with the help of his father, a Korean War veteran.

"Some of my fondest childhood memories growing up are of us target practicing and going hunting. That is a constitutional right, guaranteed us all. I don't think we should have anything infringed upon in that area," Couch said.

Couch, appearing on WDUN's Morning Talk, said he's followed local gun sales. He described them as through the roof.

Later this year, he plans to announce some sheriff's office hosted firearms safety classes. Couch hopes citizens can learn how to appropriately handle and store a weapon.

"I'm very excited about that. I think that'll be a good interaction with us, as law enforcement, with the community. It also provides a very needed service."

As far as the gun control debate in Washington, Couch said he'll have to wait and see what comes out of it. He is in favor of getting with the Georgia Sheriff's Association to make sure they're all on the same page following any new laws.

"I know where I stand, I support the second amendment. I'm sure the rest of the sheriffs do to, but we need to make a unified effort. In unity there is strength, and we need to provide that voice for the citizens."
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