SLED: Gun instructor arrested after teaching four-hour class | Crime
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Being a concealed weapons permit instructor takes some commitment. You need to keep current certification through the State Law Enforcement Division and the National Rifle Association.
Christopher Phillips is a captain with the Kershaw County Sheriff's Office. In his spare time, he teaches concealed weapons permit classes.
"I take my job very seriously. This is not a program that you can abuse," Phillips said.
But, according to SLED, one instructor did abuse his role. Last month, Roland Ray Hill taught a CWP class to nine students. Now he's accused of illegal instruction.
"We don't need to be exchanging money just for a certificate. You need to teach the class, you need to explain to the people taking the class what we are doing this," Phillips said.
The course is supposed to be eight hours. SLED says Hill's class was only four hours.
An undercover SLED agent attended Hill's class in February after receiving complaints about the class.
"Four hours is not enough time to even cut the surface with how to operate a firearm safely, where to store it safely, and how to operate the gun," Phillips said.
Phillips has been a licensed instructor for 3 years. He says most people in the classes have never held a gun, let alone owned one. He takes pride in teaching and can't understand why others don't.
"It's upsetting because it puts a ding on the entire CWP program, and that's not what the entire CWP program is all about," Phillips said.
Phillips says there are about 2,500 licensed instructors in the state. This is the second time this year an instructor has been arrested.
"Unfortunately there's a bad apple everywhere you go in every profession, but the CWP program works," Phillips said.
Hill was booked at the Lexington County Detention Center on March 5 and released later that day after he posted a $5,000 bond.
The students in Hill's class, who only went through 4 hours of training, could also face perjury charges if they submit their permit application to SLED indicating they took an 8-hour class.