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Nov 5, 2012 7:00 PM by Danielle Lerner

When it comes to gun safety, Marana High School students learn by doing

MARANA-- One Marana High School teacher is taking hands-on learning to the next level. Juniors and seniors enrolled in Richard Pines' Law and Public Safety class are not only learning about gun safety, they are practicing their skills at a local shooting range. The safety course is a class requirement, and Pines says it helps prepare students to handle firearms they may encounter at home and weapons they may have to use on the job.

From the classroom to the shooting range, these juniors and seniors are getting a firsthand introduction to the world of firearms. The course at the Marksman Institute covers everything from proper handling to trigger techniques. Many of the students hope to pursue careers in criminal justice. Senior Paige Walker wants to be a criminal lawyer.

"It's definitely a little kick, that's for sure," Walker said after her turn on the shooting range.

Senior Anisa Aguirre hopes to land a job as a forensic psychiatrist.

"It was hard for me to pull the trigger," Aguirre said. "I guess my hand's not very strong so it took me a while to get used to that."

Some, like Aguirre have never even held a gun before, but by the end of the course most will be certified in firearms safety. It is a skill they hope to use long after they leave Marana High School.

"Regardless of what your career may be in criminal justice you're going to be around weapons," said Aguirre, "so it's good to know the safety and how they work and all that."

The Law and Public Safety class is open to sophomores through seniors. Students also take part in mock trials, crime scene investigations and an FBI-administered physical fitness test.

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