First Level Offers Firearms Training Without Ammo

By Eric Englund | Jul 03, 2019

Lacey Township — “Be smart, be educated, be safe” is the motto of First Level Training, a firearms education center that recently opened at 305 Lacey Rd. in Lacey Township. Its founder and lead teacher, Glenn MacDermott, is an NRA-certified firearms instructor and handler. Prior to opening the training center, he retired after nearly 40 years in the parts department for various Toyota dealerships.

“This center became my retirement project,” he said. “I’ve been a gun enthusiast for a long time, and  firearms training has become very important today.”

MacDermott said what makes his center unique to the Southern Ocean County area is the use of laser technology with SIRT, or shot indicating resetting trigger.

“This is the safest way to educate people in safe operation and handling firearms,” he said. “You can develop the skills to become a proficient marksman without live ammunition, so there is no risk of harming yourself or others.”

He said some people interested in firearms training might feel apprehensive about handling live rounds.

“You might have some students who in the beginning might make repeated mistakes, which can put both the student and the teacher at risk,” said MacDermott. “The stress of making a harmful mistake has been eliminated. Some people might feel nervous about a lot of loud noises. That, too, has been eliminated.”

He said at First Level, students are trained in basic stance, grip, sight picture and trigger control. Classes include firearms awareness, basic safety and handling, and range safety and etiquette.

“We welcome new shooters, non-shooters, young adults to seniors. We offer private and group instruction for enthusiasts or those just interested in how firearms work.”

MacDermott said that prior to opening the center, he discussed the idea with local police officers, and they encouraged him to get it up and running

“They really liked the fact that people would be learning without live ammunition,” he said.

While he has only had a dozen students so far, he is expecting the number to increase through social media posts and would not be surprised if some schoolteachers sign up.

“It’s unfortunate, but with all the school shootings, teachers have become interested in firearms training,” he said. “It’s a sad commentary on society when schools have become the scenes of mass shootings.”

Current hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. There are also Tuesday and Thursday evening hours from 7 to 8:30. Telephone is 609-488-1085.

— Eric Englund

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