By: Teresa Mull
Eight years ago, Rick Ector hosted a free firearms training seminar for about 50 women in the Detroit area. This year, he’s confident 900 women will come out for a free lesson about gun safety, shooting, and self-defense.
“A lot of rumors and wives’ tales are dismissed as pure folly, and women are able to experience shooting for themselves,” Ector told Gunpowder Magazine. “And for many people, it’s like a watershed moment. They say, ‘I should have done this a long time ago!’”
Ector, an NRA-approved firearms trainer with Legally Armed in Detroit, explained to GPM that he was inspired to offer the free classes after hearing a grisly story of a murder of a woman on the news.
“It really bothered me to my core, that someone could be so evil and callous and disrespectful and just deposit a body of a woman in public like that,” Ector said. “It really stuck with me that somebody should do something. I couldn’t forget that story, and I decided that as a firearms trainer, I can do something with regard to empowering women, or at least give them an option to consider.”
Ector reached out to a handful of fellow firearms trainers and convinced them to donate their time. Ector was also able to convince the local gun range where he was teaching concealed carry classes to let him use the rang free of charge. Ector himself paid for the ammo and targets, and thus the free women’s firearms training program was off and running.
It hasn’t slowed down since.
“We had 50 women who were brave enough to come out and meet some strangers at a gun range for a free lesson,” Ector told GPM. “The next year we did 100, the year after that 200, then 400, etc. And now, I’m having a really good feeling that I can convince 900 women to show up to the gun range. I am looking forward to it. I have received nothing but positive responses from the news releases we’ve put out, and the feedback we’re getting in terms of registration and people calling and asking for more information.”
There are no pre-requisites to take the class, and guns and ammo are provided free of charge. Participants will receive an in-depth range safety briefing and be assigned a time slot during which they will receive one-on-one instruction in the shooting booth, where they will practice firing.
“You can be a complete novice to guns and shooting,” Ector said.
The extremely successful program attracts new-comers and veterans alike. Ector says some women come back year after year, some return every few years to take a refresher course, and some have never heard about the program and attend for the very first time.
“Many people, when they actually participate, are really surprised at how just some basic fundamental instruction can lead to positive results,” Ector said. “And I tell you, it’s a great feeling seeing all the smiles and the picture-taking, and people posting on social media, ‘Look at what I did!’
“What I hear from women is that they feel empowered, and they heard a bunch of information that wasn’t true about guns, and they’re glad that they did it, and they wish they had been exposed to guns and the shooting sports before,” Ector continued. “It’s just a great event, and what we find is that women go on and purchase guns down the road and seek out training and concealed pistol licenses and take on a more active role in personal protection of themselves, their children, and in some cases, their spouses.”
Ector also encourages other gun ranges, firearms instructors, and gun shops to try something similar to what he’s doing in metro Detroit.
This single mother knew she had to learn how to shot after her home was broken into. She’s encouraging women to attend a free event this weekend at @TopGunShooting to learn @wxyzdetroit pic.twitter.com/slqeWhn8ki— Ali Hoxie (@ali_hoxie) May 17, 2019
“Sometimes people don’t know who they can reach out to who can give them some good, accurate, pertinent information about guns and their role in personal protection,” Ector said. “This program can be replicated elsewhere. Women are the fastest-growing segment of the gun-owning population. We need to be there and to give them accurate information. Any trainers, gun shops out there who are curious about how to make this happen in their respective communities, I invite them to get my contact information and to contact me. I’m willing to work with them.”
Reprinted from Ammoland.com:
The ladies FREE shooting event will be held on Sunday, May 19, 2019, at the Top Gun Shooting Sports Gun Range at 22050 Pennsylvania in Taylor, Michigan. FREE Advance Pre-registration is required for participation.
Interested ladies should visit the following event page on Facebook for more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/265648194316262/
Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.