There was an explosive response to a women’s gun safety clinic for women held at the Ben Clark Training Facility in Riverside last weekend.
The event, “Women on Target,” was run by members of the National Rifle Association and hosted by the Riverside Sheriff’s Department.
The event was originally intended to have 25 participants but once the flyers were sent out the response was overwhelming. Women who wanted to attend the class blew up the phones and emails of the event’s organizers.
NRA Liaison to the Executive Vice President, Paul Payne, said he does not like to turn people away so he reorganized the event so there would be four to five classes that Saturday. The rotations started with an hour-long gun safety and introduction class to shooting on the range.
“We had more than 100 women show up today,” Payne said. “I have had close to two-thousand emails and 400 more phone calls from women wanting to attend today’s event”
Due to the overwhelming desire of women in Riverside County to take gun safety training another class will be held in September with a waiting list forming for future classes.
“Women need to feel empowered to have security,” said NRA Gun Safety Instructor, Jane Payne. “We have that mama bear inside us to protect, preserve our family and children.”
Firearm safety classes like the one held Saturday are helpful for women who want to learn to use a gun or how to keep their loved ones safe around guns.
Women learned the three rules of gun safety, which are to keep the gun pointed in a safe direction, keep the finger off the trigger and to keep guns unloaded.
Jane Payne also taught the women to ignore what they see in movies and on television for gun handling.
“We don’t hold the gun like you see in Charlie’s Angels, or wear low cleavage tops or heels,” said Jane Payne. The casings when shooting are known to fly and they can be burning hot, the last thing a woman wants is a hot casing to fly down her shirt. Heels or wedges can also throw a shooter off balance.”
Students were given a lesson on parts of the gun such as front sights, rear sights, safety and trigger guards.
“This class was very informative. I got lots of information that I didn’t get from my friends and family who shoot,” said Cynthia, a woman from Perris who declined to share her full name.
Cynthia said her brothers used to shoot in the backyard growing up and it was very unprofessional.
“The one thing I learned today that I didn’t know was sight alignment,” said Cynthia who is considering becoming a NRA member, continuing her training, and target practicing with her husband.
Vicki Vawter from Canyon Lake said she is grateful the NRA is holding the Women on Target clinic.
“I am taking this class because I just turned 50 and I wanted to do something new. I want to be safe, I have grandchildren and this is something I can learn at my own pace.”
Vawter said she is encouraged by the NRA’s platform for women and now wants to go shooting with her husband. She is eyeing a RFK 9C1 Gen2 9mm to purchase.
Dave Wolf FMK, Firearms President, spoke to the class about the company’s guns created for women in mind.
FMK also provided the 9C1 models in 9mm for the clinic. Participants were not allowed to bring their own guns.
“It’s a rare treat to be able to come out to this training facility,” said Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Albert Martinez. “It’s good to see a lot of smiling faces and the next event will be on September 27.”
For more information about Women on Target and future NRA clinics contact Paul Payne at (951)-683-4NRA or email at [email protected]