HARTSELLE, Ala. (WHNT) — If you hear heavy gunfire in Hartselle this week, it is likely coming from the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) training center.

All employees of the Sheriff’s Office are completing their annual firearms qualification during ‘range week’.

“Everybody in our organization that carries a weapon, has to get certified by state standards” said MCSO Public Information Officer, Mike Swafford.

Swafford said for employees to meet the minimum standards for proficiency they must score at least a 70.

Members of the Sheriff’s Office shooting on the gun range.

“At the Sheriff’s Office we pride ourselves on being good if we ever have to use it [a firearm]” Swafford said. “So our standard is 80, with most people shooting in the 90s” he added.

“The test has multiple phases, most of it is distance and accuracy,” Swafford said.

Each person must shoot from various distances and in both standing and kneeling positions.

It also includes “some short sprints involved, just to get your heart rate up”.

The Sheriff’s Office told News 19 that it is a top priority to ensure those who have to handle a firearm can use it safely and proficiently.

“Whether it is law enforcement or just somebody at home, if you have a handgun you should be proficient with it, familiar with it, able to store it safely, handle it safely” Swafford said.

He added that the Sheriff’s Office does teach safety classes to the public.

Deputies and employees of the Sheriff’s Office will be participating in Range Week through Thursday. The Sheriff’s Office says you may hear an increase in gunfire in the area of Highway 36 & I-65 in Hartselle, through the end of the training.

The Sheriff’s Office told News 19 they do want to get the word out about the training so people don’t report shots fired calls.

Swafford said they did receive one call already today.

“Just today we had somebody call in that they heard gunshots around Redstone Federal Credit Union,” he said. “Hartselle [Police] responded, but obviously we knew it was from the range.”