by Dennis Dalman
Twin brothers Brad and Chad Phillipp of St. Joseph, both of them veterans, are strong believers in firearms safety, and that is why they decided to teach youth gun-safety training and practice.
Brad used to help teach gun safety with former St. Joseph Mayor and St. Joseph Rod & Gun member Ken Hiemenz, and both are members of the St. Joseph Rod and Gun Club too. Brad is in line next month to become vice president of that long-time popular club.
The youth firearms-safety program is for girls and boys ages 12-18. Brad noted that in the last two field days, about half the 12 students at both events were girls.
Brad and Chad both teach the course. Each is allowed to have up to six students – a maximum of 12 all told. The participants take “hybrid” online classes via the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Then they take part in an in-person class where the Phillipp brothers teach them how to take apart a firearm and put it back together, along with other safety information. Parents are expected to be at those sessions so that they, the parents, can get important gun-safety information. That way, they can learn, along with their children, how to promote and maintain gun safety right in the home. Finally, there is a gun-safety field day, taught by the Phillipp brothers, during which the young students get a chance to fire .22-caliber rifles, all the while learning how to handle the firearms with the utmost safety methods.
“Chad and I are considering doing more training and field days,” said Brad. “We hope we can keep it going and keep the kids educated.”
Those who learn gun safety tend to pass it on to others, even generationally, parents to children. That, Brad said, can strengthen gun-safety behavior throughout society.
Brad works for Plunkett’s Pest Control, based in Fridley, but he has his own truck for his work throughout the greater St. Cloud area. Brad served in the U.S. Army for 10 years.
Chad, currently retired, also lives in St. Joseph and works part-time for his other brother, Paul, who owns Phillipp Construction of St. Joseph. Chad was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps for almost 22 years.
To learn more about the DNR Gun Safety program, go to the following website: dnr.state.mn.us/safety/firearms.
There is a place to register on that website, and then the names and contact information will be forwarded to teachers/trainers Brad and Chad Phillipp.