SSO’s Simunition house


I wrote a news  story for today’s paper about a new training facility being built by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.

It’s a shoot-house-type facility, but limited to Simunition or other paint-ball style weapons. Live ammunition won’t be allowed.

Cost is only $175,000, since the deputies agreed to rough out the interior themselves. Kudos for that.

It’s hard to make a case against this facility – especially given the low cost.

More importantly, the new building will allow force-on-force training, which many departments view as a luxury – something reserved solely for their specialty units.

Whether it’s Simunition or even Airsoft, I think force-on-force training should be viewed as a necessity for all LEOs. It should be mandatory.

Most cops at most departments spend most of their range time punching holes in paper, or maybe knocking down steel plates or poppers.

If they’re lucky, their trainers will incorporate some movement into their drills, and maybe even weapons transitions, but the targets usually remain static – they don’t move.

On the other hand, real world targets – armed suspects – don’t stand still. They tend to move around a bit, and occasionally they fire back.  They don’t stand perfectly still at 5, 7, 15 and 25 yards, and politely wait for you to reload.

This new training facility will teach the deputies how to shoot people, not paper. It’s not a nice, polite discussion topic, but that’s why they carry guns in the first place.

I also like the fact that the SSO will use it to train all of their armed staff, not just their specialty ninjas.

As one of the commenters pointed out in the news story, I too hope Sheriff Knight opens the facility to other departments, especially the smaller ones that could never afford such training.

It would also be nice if he allows in a journalist or two…






About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.

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