Crime driving increased interest in gun training in Red Deer area

Crime driving increased interest in gun training in Red Deer area

More women learning how to shoot

More central Albertans — including women — who are worried about crime want to learn how to pull the trigger to protect themselves, says the president of a Red Deer-area indoor shooting range.

Derek Bostock, president and CEO of Red Deer Shooting Centre in McKenzie Industrial Business Park, said his business does not advocate that people respond to crime by pulling out a gun, but he has received lots of calls lately from people wanting to learn to use guns for self-defence.

“I started this business not for self-defence. I started this business for the sport shooters, hobby guys and the casual hunters. Now, we’re seeing it evolve,” Bostock said.

ALSO READ: Red Deer named Canada’s 10th most dangerous place

He said interest grew after an alleged property invasion at an Eckville-area residence by two women armed with guns in October.

“There’s violence everywhere. It’s unfortunate,” Bostock said.

Bostock said about 50 per cent of the shooting centre’s clientele are women.

“It’s not just guys calling. It’s a lot of women, too. Single moms calling me asking me about firearms training, how to get a firearms licence. Husbands calling for their wives to get them involved.

“I’m just happy that we can provide the training locally that people are wanting. It’s good for my industry, obviously, but it’s good for people interested in getting the education they want,” Bostock said.

Jamie Osmond, general manager at Wolverine Guns & Tackle, said more guns aren’t being purchased at his store in reaction to crime, but the problem is on the public’s mind, he said.

“It is a discussion. There’s no doubt about it. People are talking about different ways they want to protect themselves on a day-to-day basis, that’s for sure,” Osmond said.

“People don’t feel safe anymore. They truly do not.”

Crime is an issue across the country, not just in central Alberta, Osmond said.

Jason Smith, of Eckville, who lives near where the mother was allegedly held at gunpoint in October, said he would pick up his gun if someone was attacking his family.

“Whether I would protect myself with a firearm, that’s a pretty simple question for me, if need be,” said Smith, who is a hunter.

“The problem is most of these people are high on drugs and they don’t think rationally.”

He said it took a dog and three large police officers to subdue a thief high on drugs who stole a vehicle from his parents.

“How is a normal, average human being suppose to deal with that?”

He said the average response time for police in his area is about 20 minutes, so residents are always on the lookout for suspicious vehicles.

“We spend more time watching out for our neighbours than we do working anymore, it seems.”

Thieves are known to shoot or poison homeowners’ dogs, he said.

“They really stop at nothing.”

About 16 months ago, he said there was a break-in on his property and $20,000 worth of equipment was stolen.

“I was home sleeping in my bed, my children in their beds, when those people broke into my shop. They were 150 feet from me,” said Smith, who didn’t hear the thieves that windy night.

“People are scared,” said the Eckville man.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Red Deer County

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Red Deer jumps to 449 active COVID-19 cases on Sunday

1,516 new cases identified in Alberta

The QEII was closed Sunday morning due to a pole fire. (Photo courtesy City of Red Deer)
UPDATE: QEII near Red Deer reopens

The QEII has been reopened after being closed due to a pole… Continue reading

Innisfail RCMP are investigating a single-vehicle crash that happened west of Bowden on March 21, 2021. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Bashaw RCMP investigate fatal collision in central Alberta

Bashaw RCMP are investigating after a fatal collision Saturday afternoon. Police were… Continue reading

A damaged unicorn statue is shown in a field outside of Delia, Alta. in this undated handout photo. It's not often police can report that a unicorn has been found, but it was the truth Saturday when RCMP said a stolen, stainless-steel statue of the mythical beast had been located in a field not far from where he'd been taken. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Mounties get their unicorn; stolen statue of mythical beast found in Alberta field

DELIA, Alta. — It’s not often police can report that a unicorn… Continue reading

Investigators from the Vancouver Police Department were in Chilliwack Saturday, collecting evidence connected to a double homicide. (file photo)
Police investigate shooting death of man outside downtown Vancouver restaurant

Vancouver police say one man was killed in what they believe was… Continue reading

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start registering people 18 years and older for COVID-19 vaccines

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government says it’s inviting people 18 years… Continue reading

San Jose's Tomas Hertl, center, celebrates with teammates Patrick Marleau, left, and Rudolfs Blacers, right, after Hertl scored a goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Minnesota Wild, Friday, April 16, 2021, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)
Patrick Marleau set to break Gordie Howe’s games record

For Patrick Marleau, the best part about Monday night when he is… Continue reading

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Tuesday, April 13, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Half of U.S. adults have received at least one COVID-19 shot

WASHINGTON — Half of all adults in the U.S. have received at… Continue reading

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Federal government to send health-care workers to Ontario, Trudeau says

MONTREAL — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says federal departments and some Canadian… Continue reading

People cross a busy street in the shopping district of Flushing on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in the Queens borough of New York. Access to the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States is growing by the day. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kathy Willens
Despite COVID-19 vaccines, Americans in D.C. not feeling celebratory — or charitable

WASHINGTON — This might make Canadians jealous of their American cousins for… Continue reading

A man pays his respects at a roadside memorial in Portapique, N.S. on Thursday, April 23, 2021. RCMP say at least 22 people are dead after a man who at one point wore a police uniform and drove a mock-up cruiser, went on a murder rampage in Portapique and several other Nova Scotia communities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Memorial service in Nova Scotia marks one year since mass shooting started

TRURO, N.S. — A memorial service is planned for today in central… Continue reading

In this April 23, 2016, photo, David Goethel sorts cod and haddock while fishing off the coast of New Hampshire. To Goethel, cod represents his identity, his ticket to middle class life, and his link to one the country's most historic industries, a fisherman who has caught New England's most recognized fish for more than 30 years. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
‘It’s more than just a fish:’ Scientists worry cod will never come back in N.L.

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The latest assessment of Atlantic cod stocks, whose… Continue reading

Most Read