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Interest in gun safety classes up around Southwest Virginia

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VINTON (WSLS 10) - More people are signing up for gun safety classes. At Safe Side Tactical it is seeing a 450-percent increase in their classes.

The business is also seeing more women signing up as well.

"It's really beneficial," says Summer Lemire. "It teaches you what your laws are, how to properly carry a gun, clean a gun, and laws in your state are."

Safe Side Tactical saw the uptick following the shootings at Smith Mountain Lake in August and politicians talking more about gun control.

"Obviously there is a desire to learn where they did not have it before," says David Grey Beal, Safe Side Tactical.

Owner Matthew Tyler says more safety classes has been in their minds when expanding their business.

At the second location in Roanoke which will open in the next few weeks there will be more capacity in classrooms to add more students and incorporate more self-defense training.

"We've been planning this for much longer than this trend is happening now," says Tyler. "It's been a growing concern for us over the last 18 months, and this is the whole plan coming into fruition."

The commonwealth does not require a person to pass a safety course to purchase a gun.