You can learn firearms safety through shooting competition

Participating in the local shooting competition has enabled a senior policeman to learn more about firearms safety and the appropriate weapons handling techniques.

Tagaloasa Toddy Iosefa, who is a senior sergeant in the Samoa Police Service, told the Samoa Observer while observing the Pacific Games two-day pistol event at the Tafaigata Shooting Range that participating in the sport enabled him to improve his safety skills in handling weapons.

He said handling guns is connected to his job as a policeman and it is always important that they do it correctly. 

"It relates to work because anything we do with our weapons is all about safety so it's all about handling the firearms the right way and safety is the most paramount that the Police always make sure that all the safeties will be carried out," he said.

The 38-year-old policeman has been shooting in three different categories since 2007, namely shotgun, rifle and pistol and his experience has enabled him to be categorised an “authorised police officer” in handling firearms. 

The involvement of his wife in the shooting sport led to him signing up in 2007 and taking on the sport. But he said the experience was good for his job as a police officer and this should also compel colleagues in the Police to join, and learn how to improve their weapons handling techniques while competing in the sport. 

"I think with the upgrading of shooting, it would be nice for the cops to come and compete, and I think it all depends on the costs on becoming a shooter and I think that’s why not many cops participate."

With growing interest in the sport locally, Tagaloasa is confident a police pistol team could be created to compete in local tournaments, especially after the increasing public profile of the sport after the 2019 XVI Pacific Games. 

The senior sergeant is currently the coach for Samoa's shooting Team, but had to withdraw from competing in the shotgun category, in order to make way for a junior shooter to participate. 

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