By Crystal Couch
A quick view of the statistics on violent crimes against women will make any female more appreciative of what a non-profit organization with chapters all over Utah has to offer. The Well-Armed Woman of Utah Jordan Valley Chapter helps to educate, equip and empower women in our community.
Having a sense of safety and a form of protection is something Utahns are lucky to have. The number of women owning firearms has increased heavily over the recent years, and this local chapter is there to provide a safe environment for these women to practice shooting and gain confidence with their weapon.
“Our shooting chapter program brings together women of all ages, backgrounds and political views, and in their monthly meetings learn safe and responsible gun handling skills,” said Carrie Lightfoot, founder of The Well-Armed Woman, in a recent press release. They have over 210 chapters in 48 states, and they have all formed within the last three years, with Utah being home to eight of those chapters.
The Jordan Valley Chapter meets once a month at The Gun Vault in South Jordan on the third Monday. You can attend the first meeting at no cost, but thereafter is an annual $50 membership fee with monthly range fees that vary from seven to 12 dollars a month.
The meeting is led by local resident and NRA-certified instructor Michelle Camp, who has been a part of this chapter for a year and a half. “I had been a concealed permit carry holder for 20 years and I found I was not getting out practicing as often as I should to keep my skills sharp. I looked around for a way to do that and came across this program on the internet,” she said.
Her favorite part is getting to meet the new faces that come every month. She said The Well-Armed Women of Utah Jordan Valley Chapter provides a welcoming environment for all women who attend. She stresses for no one to be nervous attending the first time and said they actually prefer women to come who do not already own a gun. “Every woman is different, hands are shaped differently. We encourage women not to go out and buy a gun but to come work with them. We have over 50 different ladies in our chapter alone who are more than willing to share theirs [gun], plus we have rentals that are available,” she said. “Always try out a bunch of different guns before you decide this is the one for me.”
A typical TWAW meeting consists of an hour of information on a specific topic and one hour of shooting on the range.