Greyson Guns in Orange shoots for success with non-gun toting crowd

Anthony Cuozzo at Greyson Academy in Orange.

Anthony Cuozzo at Greyson Academy in Orange.

Greyson Guns has long provided a popular shooting range and gun store for firearms enthusiasts, but now the business has added a new twist — general safety courses to be taught at the new “Greyson Academy.”

And the classes don’t involve shooting anything.

“It’s not our goal to convert people to become gun owners,” said the academy’s Director of Training Anthony Cuozzo, the retired Orange assistant police chief. “We’d love them to be educated.”

The academy also offers classes designed for serious gun owners, but the new offerings will be focused on safety education.

Cuozzo, who developed similar programs while at the police department — teaching women’s safety, teacher drills, Internet safety, even babysitter safety — said among the Greyson Academy offerings will be safety training for students headed to college , classes on home safety — including theft protection — and Internet safety, including how to talk to teenagers about it.

There also is a “How to talk to your kids about guns,” class — “We still see tragedy” with kids who handle parents’ guns, Cuozzo said.

Greyson also is developing a small-business active-shooter safety course that teaches the new national model of “run, hide fight,” rather than the old shelter in place.

Even though the classes are not designed to promote gun ownership, that doesn’t mean there’s no general public classes involving guns — such as the “How to choose a firearm that’s right for you” or “How to buy a gun,” the latter part of a free lecture series.

The general public offerings at Greyson Academy also include a class on gun laws and a women’s self -defense class psychological.

Most of the classes are $99 each.

The pristine, state-of-the-art classroom where the teaching takes place is situated in a newly remodeled space at the business, located at 543-545 Boston Post Road.

Cuozzo, an adjunct college professor, said he’s taught safety on campus to freshman at the University of New Haven, Albertus Magnus, Yale University and University of Bridgeport.

He said much of the key in that arena is to be self-aware, make good decisions, “if you see something, say something,” and to be careful on social media, including posting your whereabouts.

Cuozzo, who was a police firearms instructor both at the local and state levels, said he can design a class for any need.

Greyson Guns owner Mike Horvath said all the education they can add — all the “little things” — will make a difference to the community and in public safety.

“We’re not just a bunch of gun people.” Horvath said.

Cuozzo, who retired last year after a 27-year career at the police department and made a brief career switch to restaurant executive, decided he wanted to return to his passion of training and teaching.

“I was like, wow, this is like my dream job,” when he and Horvath started talking about the concept. “I have the opportunity to develop curriculum and training that have value to the general public — Joe Citizen.”

Cuozzo has an undergraduate degree in criminal justice, and a master’s degree in leadership from Albertus Magnus College.