DUMAS, Texas — A Baptist church in the Texas Panhandle plans to host concealed-handgun training, saying it’s offering the class as a community service because there is so much interest.

People wanting to get a concealed-handgun license in Texas must take the class. The Rev. Brad Foster, of Calvary Baptist Church, in Dumas told the Amarillo Globe-News for a story in Saturday’s editions that a state-certified instructor will teach the first 10-hour class in the fellowship hall March 2. It covers how to safely handle firearms.

“We’ve always attempted to think outside the box as far as what the needs of the community are, and I think this melds well with that philosophy,” he said.

Two more classes are planned and the church will offer more if there’s still interest. Foster said people from across the region, not just church members, have expressed interest in the training. More than half of those enrolled are women and some are teachers.

Jim Edlin, the church’s Sunday-school director and an organizer of the class, said he looks forward to sharing his experience in the class with others in the community north of Amarillo.

“It’ll make people feel more secure about where they are, and hopefully the more people get the license, the safer we’ll all be,” he said.

Foster said there has been little negative feedback about the church hosting the class. “One concern was expressed that this is a political hot button, especially in our nation, and I certainly am sensitive to that reality,” he said.

“However, we’re not making a political statement, except we don’t mind being associated with being in support of the Second Amendment.”