Ed Gierbolini

Ed Gierbolini is teaching two sessions of Firearm Safety and Self-Defense adult education classes, starting March 4 and March 18. The classes are free. See story for more information.

In 2012, the Federal Bureau of Investigation performed 16.8 million background checks on people interested in purchasing a firearm. That same organization estimated there are over 300 million firearms in the hands of people right here in the United States.

“Firearms are out there, we all know that. I want to help with the misconceptions and fears people might have about them. That was one of the reasons I thought about teaching an Adult Education class on firearms,” said Ed Gierbolini.

After submitting a proposal to the Cut Bank School System, Gierbolini’s request to conduct an Adult Education class was granted and his class entitled Firearms Safety and Self-Defense was added to the Winter Adult Education schedule.

Gierbolini is offering two sessions for his Firearms Safety and Self-Defense class. Session one is held over the course of three days, March 4 and March 6-7. The class time is 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and will be held at Cut Bank High School in Room 116.

The second session is also a three-day offering and is being held on March 18 and March 20-21. Class times and location are the same as in session one.

The class is free. To register, call Gierbolini at 873-4872 or email him at gmangun smith@bresnan.net or contact Cut Bank High School.

“I wanted the class to be more of a community service type class, which is why there is no fee. My hope is to get the knowledge out there about firearms and to help people realize guns are a tool and should be handled with great care.”

There are three components to the three-day class that Gierbolini will be covering. The first is function and safety of firearms, second is marksmanship and the third is using firearms for self-defense.

“We will cover the various types of firearms, their function, safety, how to clean and store them and talk a little about ballistics in the first part of the course. In the second part of the course, those attending will learn how to hold the gun, fire the gun and develop some marksmanship skills. And lastly, we will talk about using firearms for self-defense. There is an incredible amount of emotional and physical responses people feel once they have used a weapon for self-defense. I want to help them understand what those are,” Gierbolini said.

Teaching a class that provides this much information about firearms should be conducted by someone who has done classes like this in the past. It should be done by someone who is thorough and has a well-versed knowledge in firearms. It should be done by a person with a long history of experience with firearms. Ed Gierbolini fits that bill perfectly.

Gierbolini has been a certified National Rifle Association instructor for 15 years. He was a primary marksmanship instructor for 10 years. He was a self-defense instructor for the Memphis Police Department and received formal martial arts training for 15 years. He has taught firearm safety to over 3,000 students. He was also a Marine for 22 years.

Gierbolini came to Cut Bank 15 years ago from Tennessee. In 2001, he became a reserve office for the Cut Bank Police Department and did that for four years. In 2007, he conducted a Guns and Gals class for 13 ladies here in Cut Bank, “with the oldest being 79,” he said. “The participants were great and they learned so much in that short time.”

Now, Gierbolini is a gunsmith by trade operating G-Man Gunsmithing, which is located close to Santa Rita, about four and a half miles north of Cut Bank. He has received two different certifications in gunsmithing since the tragic 9-11 event.

Gierbolini is also a member of the Cut Bank Sportsman Association, which “promotes the safe handling of firearms and shooting sports,” he said.

With those credentials and years of experience, Gierbolini is the perfect man to teach the Firearms Safety and Self-Defense class.

“I have had lots of requests to teach another class, something like the Guns and Gals class I held in 2007. After a time, I thought a class through Adult Education might be a good way to reach the people that seem to have an interest in firearms,” he said.

“From this class, I hope people will get enough information to make a better choice of a firearm, learn how to work it, develop marksmanship skills and understand the self-defense side of firearms,” he concluded.

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