An excessive heat advisory did not deter nearly 80 men and women from traveling to the Cleveland VFW Post 1839 for an opportunity to participate in a free LTC (License to Carry) class offered by Roman Forest Police Officer Ronnie “Bubba” Tullos on Sunday, July 22.
“Donations are encouraged, but absolutely are not required for the class,” Tullos explained to the group.
The no pressure, give-if-you-can approach has filled up two prior LTC classes Tullos offered at Roman Forest Police Department, and has individuals already calling to get on the list for the next two offered at the American Legion in Willis.
“The only thing you have to pay is the range fee,” he said. “Anyone who donates should know all of the money will be split between the Roman Forest Police Department for training and the VFW for letting us use the facility.”
Tullos, who has been a LTC instructor for 10 years, recently made the class free by donating his time off on weekends.
“This is a free class with a free gun lock,” he explained to the audience. “I started offering it free about a month ago.”
The original plan was to waive the fee for teachers who were interested in obtaining their LTC, but a friend of Tullos asked why he didn’t just offer it free to everyone – to which Tullos agreed.
Despite joking with the audience he has a new boat at home that has never been in the water; he has already scheduled the next two weekends as additional classes and will continue to keep his classes free in the future.
“I have something to offer that benefits everyone in this room,” he explained.
Tullos is no ordinary instructor and the five-hour lecture portion is far from the average PowerPoint presentation other instructors may offer. As a matter of fact, there wasn’t a PowerPoint presentation or microphone in the room.
“I just get to talkin’. I make it fun and get the point across. It helps pass the time quicker,” he said with a smile, followed by a joke offering to kick things off with break dancing.
Tullos’ story-telling style, along with his moderately noticeable accent, had the audience engaged like a stand-up comedian working a stage.
He heckled the crowd about bathroom breaks and online dating. He even made a couple of funny observations about his boss – Chief Stephen Carlisle – who Tullos said has a hilarious lipsync video out.
However, the light-hearted environment didn’t take away from the seriousness of the content. A license to carry comes with rights and responsibilities and everyone in the room needed to understand fully.
“Always treat a handgun like it’s loaded,” said Tullos. “And teach kids safety.”
Children are naturally curious, according to Tullos, who suggested everyone in the room train their own kids or grandkids on gun safety to help eliminate the curiosity.
“There are people who believe kids shouldn’t be around guns,” he said. “That is the worst thing you can think. You decide the age when it’s appropriate, but you need to teach them gun safety.”
It’s not just gun safety Tullos suggested to be taught to children, but safety in general because crime has no zip code. It can happen anywhere to anyone.
“Criminals don’t see women as a threat at all,” he explained. “And kids need situational awareness. They also need to stop talking to people they don’t know on the internet, including on dating sites.”
Other additional topics of discussion included Texas Penal Code, using common sense, legal implications of carrying or discharging a weapon, gun safety and storage, as well as dealing with active shooters and bullying.
“Ignorance of the law can still cost you,” said Tullos.
The five-hour story-telling lecture ended with a 25-question test and paperwork before the group headed to the range for final qualifications to pass or fail the class. Despite the heat, many were anxious to get to the range.
“I’ve always had good reviews from people who attend my classes, because I always try to be funny,” said Tullos.
To register for the next free LTC course offered at the American Legion in Willis, contact 281-961-8078.
By Rachel Hall, special to Bluebonnet News