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Texas gun range offers free course for LGBT community, sees record attendance

Days after 49 people died and dozens others were injured at an Orlando gay nightclub, many in the LGBT community began expressing an piqued interest in their own security. The nation’s deadliest mass shooting — and deadliest terror attack since 9/11 — led to the rapid growth of groups like Pink Pistols, which provides resources for gay gun owners.

The owner of a Houston, Texas, gun range aimed to add even more to the ranks by offering free classes to members of the LGBT community.

Shiloh Shooting Range owner Jeff Sanford not only welcomed about 300 attendees interested in finding out more about firearms, he said the opportunity allowed two groups to come together for a common cause.

“They’re not necessarily what we’ve been told,” he said, “and we’re not necessarily what they’ve been told.”

Jared Anthony attended one of the courses, later explaining to local media that he learned that by responsibly carrying a firearm “you’re providing a service to the community really.”

Sanford has offered promotions like this before, but he said the level of commitment among those who signed up for this round of courses was notably higher than usual. All but two of the 62 who signed up for one class actually attended, he said. No other free course has had such a high turnout percentage.

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