No boys allowed: a new women-only gun club in Ohio offers women an opportunity to receive firearm training for self-defense and recreational purposes.
The club is part of A Girl & A Gun Women’s Shooting League, a national organization that started in northeast Ohio. It has since expanded with 26 chapters in 12 different states, including Texas, California, Connecticut, and Florida. This shooting range marks Ohio's first oganized ladies-only A Girl & A Gun shooting facility.
The patrons are as diverse as any male-dominated club. The organization counts attorneys, stay-at-home moms, students, teachers, and women from all walks of life among its members. Ages range from 18 to senior citizens well into their 70s, and skill levels range from “newbie” to seasoned veteran.
While they may be united in their gender, members of the organization come for very different reasons. Some come for self-defense: one woman said, “A man’s not going to always be there, hopefully, you know. If anything happens in the future we can know and defend ourselves.” Another member hopes to protect her family, saying, “If someone was going to approach me or my family I know I could defend them.” And yet others come to socialize, hone competitive shooting skills, or to simply blow off a little steam.
The appearance of this club is hardly surprising considering the recent spike in gun ownership among women. A survey by the National Shooting Sports Foundation last year found that 73% of gun dealers claimed that the number of female customers had gone up in 2011. Additionally, manufacturers have begun marketing products specifically towards women with lighter firearms, custom colors, and unique accessories.
This club may be Ohio’s first girls-only shooting club, but with national numbers like these it’s fairly likely that it won’t be the last.