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Grand jury: Madison County firearms instructor failed to teach courses

By: Tim Johnston Email
By: Tim Johnston Email

RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - At the Department of Criminal Justice Training, on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University, failure to follow the rules on the parking signs may get your car towed. However, failure to follow the rules taught inside the building will have a steeper penalty.

On December 18th, Kevin Helton, a Carry Concealed Deadly Weapon instructor, was indicted on three counts. The grand jury said in the first count that on or around March 6, 2013, Helton failed to provide the requisite lecture instruction, range instruction, and range firing that's part of the course. Again on May 1, 2013, it's said Helton failed give the required range instruction, range firing, and firearm cleaning instructions. The third count stated that in August of 2012, he gave a license to a student when no training was given. In all three charges it's said Helton told the DOCJT that the student completed the course.

"I am surprised every time somebody gets charged with this offense," reacted Trooper Paul Blanton of the Kentucky State Police.

Blanton went on to say that there is a lot that goes into training these instructors, and they know the value of the message they're passing along.

"It's a felonious offense, it's up to one to five years in jail," Blanton described, "So I mean it's pretty serious, and the people teaching these classes know this."

Blanton said there are roughly 1,800 instructors in the state and each has the task to teach others how to safely handle a firearm. A job the trooper said shouldn't be taken lightly.

"If somebody is not getting the full six hours of training in the classroom, they're not fully aware of what the laws are, they're not fully aware of what their responsibilities are."

Blanton went on to say that a part of the course work includes a training video and range requirements to put 11 of a student's 20 shots into a silhouette target. The trooper said no corners can be cut per the Kentucky Revised Statutes.

WKYT contacted Helton about the counts and he claimed that he was unaware of the indictment. He also said that he stopped teaching months ago, but when we asked to meet him for a comment he said he had to talk to his lawyer.

While it's alleged that the course work was not properly completed, Blanton said each person must still be cleared with a criminal background check before they can receive their concealed carry license.


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