For most Texans, it’s easy to find a license to carry course. Gun ranges, staffed with trained and licensed instructors, are ubiquitous.
It’s not so simple for those who need special accommodations, like members of the deaf community. But one firearm instructor is doing what he can to open up access.
Jonathan Galloway, lead instructor at the Nardis Gun Club in San Antonio, recently held a license to carry course especially for the deaf community. It’s the first of its kind in the state. Galloway, who has been a certified American Sign Language interpreter for six years, says it was only natural to bring his training together to create accommodations for the class.
“I put a lot of multimedia in my presentations so, I went through and captioned all the videos,” Galloway says. “I got permission from the Department of Public Safety to interpret the written test so that that’s also available in their native language, American Sign Language, as opposed to English.”
Even with his credentials, Galloway says that there are certain challenges to adapt the course for deaf students. He says that the class is mostly about legislation, but there is also a small skills component, which can be difficult to teach.
“You have to have a direct line of sight in order to communicate with the deaf individual, and they have to be looking at the target in order to shoot at it,” Galloway says.
But he says that the gun range has technology like an automated system and turning targets that make teaching the class easier.
The first class filled up in about a week and a half, Galloway says, and included students from Austin and even West Texas. He’ll be teaching another in August, which he expects to be even more popular.
“I think this next class is going to have even more. I’ve had a lot of people contact me from outside of San Antonio,” he says. “Word of mouth is pretty powerful in the deaf community.”
Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.
Post by Alexandra Hart.