This year’s SHOT Show hosted more women-owned businesses and professional shooters than ever before.TFB was right there to catch all of the action at one of the events promoting “Women of the Gun” and Project Childsafe, a non-profit movement started in 1999 by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) to give parents and children some general education on safety with a focus on safe firearms storage. Project Childsafe also gives gunlocks for law enforcement all across the United States to give to families of firearms owners.
To date, over 38,000,000 locks have been handed out to communities, thanks to donations from NSSF on behalf of folks just like you and I! In fact, firearms accessibility at home is at the lowest level in the history of the information being recorded.
I caught up with several professional female shooters and asked them about how they got started in the sport of shooting, who their role models are, and more!
Julie Golob (Smith & Wesson)
Julie Golob, well-known shooting champion and recent children’s book author was onhand to talk about Project Childsafe the importance of using fingerprint safes and other newer technology to encourage safe firearm storage for both children and adults.
She said that safety, for her, started in the shooting sport itself. That it was instilled in her to always follow the 4 firearms safety rules and to safely store her own firearms before and after matches.
When I asked Julie who inspired her as a young girl in the shooting industry, her answer was quick and without pause. “Kay Miculek was an inspiration to me growing up” she says, “I never felt like a minority. I never felt like a girl shooting in a guy’s sport. Thanks to Kay, I was a shooter doing what she loved.”
Julie is currently an NRA Board candidate and is using her status in the firearms industry to promote Project Childsafe and it’s importance in the home.
Dianna Muller (NRA World Shooting Champion)
I asked Dianna Muller (retired police officer and 3-Gun Champion) to tell me about what she sees are some areas of improvement that many shooters overlook.
“Stock fitment is key” she said. “Many new shooters, especially shooting shotgun, don’t understand the importance of facial fitment.” Muller went on to say that if you’re wanting to get started in 3-Gun or any other shooting sport, “learn it and do it. Make it work.”
Dianna talked about upper body work and the importance of core placement over leg placement. “If you don’t get core placement down, you’ll notice it in your groups.”
Finally, she said that if you’re interested in getting started as a 3-Gun shooter, start with USPSA or IDPA first. Work the safety table, learn the etiquette of the competition, offer to volunteer. Muller says a lot of competitions are eager to share with new shooters and will help show you the ropes.
Dianna credits her father as the one that got her started in shooting.
Lanny Barnes (3-time biathlon Olympian)
When I asked Lanny Barnes about who her shooting idol was growing up, she immediately said, “Kay Miculek – she’s a modern-day Annie Oakley!”
Lanny and her twin sister Tracy are instructors for Babes with Bullets – a travelling camp that introduces women to firearms.
Lanny says her father was the one who got her involved in hunting. He must have done something right, because she’s currently one of the top 4 women in the nation for handgun, shotgun, and rifle.
When I asked what advice she’d give to girls looking to get into the sport of shooting, she said, “Fight for what you believe in and what you love.”
Barnes said she sees a lot of positive changes in the firearms industry regarding the attitude and support for female shooters. “Jump in with both feet. Women in the shooting sports are friendly and inviting and are usually very happy to show you how it’s done.”
Morgan and Mason Baseley (2 Girls Hunting)
Morgan and Mason Baseley started hunting with their father and grandpa at an early age. They’ll be 18 in November, 2018. Their first sponsor was Girls with Guns.
Their idols in the shooting sport include Eva Shockey, their dad, and their grandpa.
But don’t let their similar appearances fool you! First of all, Mason is a left-handed shooter that enjoys deer and dove hunting. By contrast, Morgan is a right handed shooter that loves duck hunting.
They both say that the shooting and hunting are more of a challenge in their home state of California.
I asked them what they’d tell a young female shooter thinking about “getting in firearms competitions”. Morgan said, “it’s not male dominated anymore. Don’t give up. Be responsible and learn all about the sport.”
Mason added, “Be yourself. Face each obstacle you come up against and push through it.”
Well said, ladies.
Special thanks to NSSF, Project Childsafe, and the ladies who shared their thoughts and experiences with me. TFB’s coverage of SHOT Show 2018 women-owned business and shooters!