Green Bay, WI — It’s a nationwide movement that Wisconsin women are taking part in, arming themselves with guns. They’re doing it in groups, or as individuals for a number of reasons, even as the gun debate in America heats up.
Women we spoke with say its empowering, a confidence booster, and most importantly an individual choice to bear arms.
“This is big,” said Alison Elliott, who owns her own security company and is training to be an NRA instructor. “The women have really stepped up, I love it.”
She shoots at the Family Shooting Academy, one of many women who are now packing heat.
“There’s nothing better of a feeling, when you have that gun in your hand and you know what you’re doing,” said Elliott.
It’s a trend across the country, and the state. In a packed classroom at Deerfield Pistol and Archery in Dane County, it’s the first meeting for a group called “The Well Armed Woman”.
It was created by Carrie Lightfoot, as a way to help others navigate the world of firearms, which, until recently, has mostly been a man’s world.
“We’re seeing huge numbers of women come together, realize that they’re part of a huge community, and now they have a voice,” she said.
It’s a change in the last 4-5 years says Mike Shea, General Manager, of the Family Shooting Academy, that just opened a year ago. And as the name suggests it’s open to more than just men.
“It was mainly women that would come out with their husbands or dads, things like that,” said Shea.
Gun shop owners and gun manufacturers are now catering to the female audience with pink rifles and purses.
“For women, it’s a very social activity,” said Shea.
An uptick in women shooters, but this as the country has heated debates about gun control laws. After mass shootings, two in the Badger State alone, Elliot says she understands the conversation, but in the end everyone has the right to own a gun responsibly.
“But the bottom line, you have the right to protect yourself and your family,” said Elliott.
“The Well Armed Woman” has chapters in 26 states. There are two in Wisconsin