Firearms Qualification Shoot | VideoRetha Colclasure | 2/8/2013
Bismarck police officers don`t often have to fire their guns on the job. But just in case they`re faced with the worst-case scenario, they need to be ready.
"If something was to happen, you want to be proficient in what you do. If you do have to use your weapon you can do what you need to do to take care of the problem," said Officer Brett Anderson.
These officers are doing just that, firing from different positions, around barricades and with blank rounds meant to simulate what would happen if their gun jammed.
"We...stress fundamentals, getting a good sight picture, good grip on the guns, breathing control, stance," said Lt. Steve Scheuer.
But this shoot isn`t like any other. That`s because the handguns and holsters they`re using are brand new.
"It`s just the familiarization of the handgun, how they operate," Scheuer said.
The new guns replace the ones the department has been carrying since 1994 and offer interchangeable grips for different sized hands, so they`re more user friendly.
That is, once the user is used to it.
"They`re a little tough to break in, but as we train and use and do our repetition, it gets easier every time we do it," Anderson said.
The qualification courses are approved by the state, and run by trained instructors at the department. Everyone in the department who carries a gun has to qualify, from the newest patrol officer all the way up to the chief.