Local group teaches women firearm skills and safety

Local group teaches women firearm skills and safety

The clientele at the Neuse Sport Shop indoor shooting range might look a little different on the second Monday of each month, but the targets don’t look different at all when the shooters have finished with them.

From left, group co-leaders Sherron Kearney, Deborah Johnson and Carolyn Comfort. All three are NRA-certified pistol instructors Photo by Catherine Hardee / Neuse News

Those Monday evenings are reserved for the members of the Kinston chapter of The Well Armed Woman Shooting Chapter. The group, one of 387 chapters across the country, provides women an opportunity to learn about firearms from other women.

All chapters across the nation must have at least one National Rifle Association-certified pistol instructor, but the Kinston chapter has four.

A typical meeting involves about an hour in the classroom, learning from certified instructors about various topics related to firearms. Topics have included cleaning firearms, adjusting sights, the proper stance and grip, the types of holsters that are most comfortable and convenient for women, and much more.

After the classroom portion, members head to the range for some practice. The group leaders are on hand to provide practical instruction to help members improve. Throughout the meeting and range time, the leaders emphasize safety first whenever dealing with firearms.

Group co-leader Sherron Kearney said she decided to learn to shoot for personal safety, and she found her way to The Well Armed Woman when looking for a place to take her daughters to learn. It can be easier, she said, for women to learn from other women, especially at the beginning of the learning process.

“Women have a different teaching style,” she said.

Deborah Johnson, who is also a co-leader, said when she first started shooting, she ended up with guns that were too much for her and didn’t fit her hands, which made learning difficult. Women also face different issues if they decide to carry a weapon with them on a daily basis and male instructors often don’t address those issues when teaching classes, the group leaders said.

Ann McCoy and her daughter Angela Speight are members of the Kinston chapter of The Well-Armed Woman. Photo by Catherine Hardee / Neuse News

Group member Angela Speight said she joined the group with her mother, Ann McCoy. The monthly meetings help her “to feel comfortable with her gun.” McCoy, Speight said, is the real enthusiast, and she is happy to help her mom do something she enjoys.

Meetings are held the second Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at Neuse Sport Shop in Kinston. Anyone interested in joining is welcome to come to a meeting to learn more about the group and observe the range time before joining. Annual membership is $50. Visit https://twawshootingchapters.org/ to learn more.

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