WALLINGFORD, C.T. (WTNH) – At a gun range in Wallingford, more than 5,000 Connecticut residents received pistol safety training last year.

Blue Trail Range offers NRA Basics Pistol Safety Courses. In Connecticut, potential firearm carriers must complete a handgun safety course before submitting their permit application.

Owner Deborah Woessner Lyman says interest in their safety course has picked up since the pandemic. In 2019, about 2,800 people signed up. In 2020, enrollment was over 7,000. In 2021, more than 5,000 signed up. Lyman says this year’s enrollment is also on track to match last year’s.

“Unfortunately, our country is not always the safest place to be in at all times and people want to defend their home, their children,” she said.

Lyman says classes are looking more diverse as more women and people of color have signed up in recent years.

“As a minority-owned business, we make sure that if a woman walks through in this door, they feel comfortable.”

The rise in interest comes as the Supreme Court struck down a New York law that made it difficult to obtain a permit to carry a handgun outside the home.

The New York law required concealed carry permit applicants to demonstrate a special need for a license, beyond a desire for self-defense.

Unlike New York, Connecticut doesn’t require applicants to have a special reason to carry. Instead, local law enforcement decides whether to issue a permit to carry a handgun based on the applicant’s suitability.
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong says the high court’s ruling will lead to lawsuits from the NRA, the gun lobby and gun activists. Tong is confident state gun laws are constitutional and will hold up in court.

“This is a radical and reckless decision and puts common-sense gun safety laws at risk and frankly puts Connecticut families and children in schools at risk,” he said. “If anyone tries to sue the state of Connecticut to overturn those gun laws, I will fight tooth and nail to stop them, and we will prevail.”