The Holmes County Sheriff’s Office will present its next Advanced Firearms training Course, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 29, at the Holmes County Jail classroom, 3207 Lonny Lindsey Drive, Bonifay, with focused training for local church security teams.

This specific training date gives priority to two members each of local church security teams, but the program will accept other registrants if room permits, up to 20 participants. Check back closer to the date for availability, as well as for future dates open to concealed weapons permit holders in the general public.

“We will hold another class soon for the general public, but in the light of the recent church shooting in Texas, we would like to give priority in our next class to those who are tasked with keeping the churches of Holmes County safe,” said Holmes County Sheriff John Tate in a press release about the upcoming course. “In that scenario, parishioners were fortunate to have a trained member of the security team stop the shooter before more lives could be taken. We hope it never happens here, but we want to always be prepared.”

A registration form for this class may be picked up from the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office or downloaded from the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office app, under the “Programs” tab.

In addition to this Advance Firearms training, Sheriff Tate continues to offer free security assessments for interested businesses or churches, during which HCSO will discuss with security teams the layout of the building(s) and things that can make the property safer. To request a security assessment for your church or business, call 850-547-4421.

Here is what those interested in this class need to know:

COST: $25 to cover training materials.

DURATION: From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with an hour lunch break.

OPEN TO: Current concealed weapons permit holders (from any state with Florida reciprocity).

The HCSO Advanced Firearms training Course is designed to give more in-depth training to existing concealed weapons permit holders. This training is to help them become more knowledgeable and comfortable handling their weapons in the event they find themselves in a real-life scenario that would require them to defend their own life or that of others.

This course focuses on physical and mental training, as well as real-life scenarios such as active shooter encounters.

This training will involve moderate physical activity. Participants should be able to quickly move into a variety of shootings positions.

There is no additional license associated with this course. It is simply a tool to help better prepare CWP holders to handle their weapons in a crisis situation.

Participants are required to wear clothing appropriate for the firing range. Do not wear slick-bottomed shoes, tank tops, low-cut shirts, shorts or skirts.


» Protective eye wear

» Ear protection

» Serviceable firearm (.380 caliber or higher)

» Ammunition (at least 200 rounds)

» Magazines for pistols (at least three) or speed loaders (at least two) for revolvers » Serviceable belt and holster.

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