TAZEWELL, VA (WVNS)–Even though both Virginias are open carry states when it comes to guns, did you know if you want to travel with them, you need a Concealed Carry Permit?

Gun safety and gun awareness are becoming more and more important, and one county wants to help educate. Last year, about 45,000 Americans died from gun violence.

Sheriff Brian Hieatt with the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office says if you have a gun, you need to educate yourself on how to use it.

“We live in a nice area. We know that anything can happen to anybody whether you’re in a small town or a big city. And this is just a way for people to protect themselves no matter what may happen,” Hieatt said.

Concealed Carry Permit holder and Manager of Flat Top Arms William Dick talks about the benefits of having a concealed carry permit.

“It allows you to carry in multiple places. So for example, you can take your gun on vacation with you on if you go to another state, whereas if you did not have a permit, you would not be able to transport your gun across state lines,” Dick said.

And Sheriff Hieatt is giving the opportunity for citizens to take part in the class.

“In the area we live in, we have a lot of people that have guns a lot of people that want to carry them concealed and this is a free class, officers come out, they volunteer their time just to help people go through that process and be able to get their certificate to apply for their permit,” Hieatt said.

Officials say having a certificate is not enough, you must go through your state’s respective courthouse and apply for a concealed carry permit.

The class will be on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at 8:30 am on Main Street at the Board of Supervisors building in Tazewell County.