The Clewiston News

Sheriff: Protect yourself against terrorist attacks

Sheriff Steve Whidden is urging Hendry County residents to get their concealed weapon permits in order to safeguard against terrorist and other attacks.

Since several mass shootings have rocked the country in the past weeks and months, including one believed to have been carried out by terrorists, Sheriff Whidden wants residents who are legally able to carry concealed weapons to do so.

In a post shared on Facebook by Sheriff Whidden Monday, he said the nation is “under attack by radical Islamic terrorists” and he does not want Hendry County residents to be “helpless victims.”

Anyone who is legally able and trained to carry concealed weapons, said Sheriff Whidden, should do so.

Though he does not think Hendry County is likely to be the target of a terrorist attack, the sheriff said any type of attack might be mitigated by citizens who are legally carrying concealed weapons.

“Who’s to say a crazed guy mad at the school board might not go into one of our schools?” asked Sheriff Whidden in an interview with The Clewiston News. “You never know when or where something is going to happen. If you can carry, do it. Be trained and be prepared to save a life.”

In order to obtain a concealed weapon permit in Florida, you must be a U.S. citizen, 21 years of age or older, complete a safety or training course and be able to handle and fire a gun.

There are many reasons why some people may be denied a concealed weapon permit, including felony convictions, multiple DUI convictions and the inability to safely handle a firearm, among others.

Hendry County Sheriff’s Office is offering a Concealed Firearms Class this month beginning Dec. 12. Classes will be held at the Hendry County Gun Range and taught by certified instructors. For more information about the course, contact Carmen Corbitt or Captain Susan Harrelle at 863-674-5628 or 863-674-5604.

Sheriff Whidden said he believes more guns legally in the hands of citizens leads to a safer community and urges residents to “be aware and be cautious.”

“It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it,” he said.

For more information regarding eligibility requirements, click here.