ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – More than 400 Colorado educators learned how to handle and shoot firearms on Saturday during a free class offered by the Centennial Gun Club.

The club said it organized Saturday’s lessons at Centennial Airport in response to school shootings and other gun violence in gun-free zones across the country. Teachers learned on a gun similar to a Glock 17. It shoots lasers instead of bullets.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“I’m passionate about teaching,” first-grade teacher Samantha Schuller, an attendee, said.

Unlike most other educators who learned gun safety on Saturday, Schuller’s perspective is much more personal.

As a high school sophomore, she was taken hostage by a gunman at Platte Canyon High School on Sept. 27, 2006. The gunman killed one student before killing himself.

“It has affected me my whole life,” Schuller said.

She is working toward her concealed carry permit.

“I’ve reached a point in my life where I want to feel like I can protect myself,” she said.

Centennial Gun Club CEO Dick Abramson created the free classes.

“We’re very concerned about the safety of our kids,” he said.

Abramson said that although Colorado teachers are not allowed to bring guns into classrooms, knowing how to act during a school shooting is just as important.

“We want them to know how to recognize that gun, to get the gun unloaded and make it safe,” he said.

Schuller said she’s taking the classes because she doesn’t want to feel helpless.

“That’s the last thing I want,” Schuller said. “I think this is one small step I can do for now.”

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