‘The Well Armed Woman’ aims at gun empowerment and self-defense skills for women

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HAMPTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – For some women, carrying a gun comes with complications. One national shooting organization aims to provide support.

The Well Armed Woman has chapters in nearly every state, with five in Tennessee. The Piney Flats chapter started in 2015, and currently has about 30 rotating members.

“Up until maybe the last few years it’s been a really male-dominated sport and area,” said Kim Sims, leader of the Piney Flats chapter. “To go into a gun store even just to look at a gun is pretty intimidating.”

To combat the intimidation factor and help women gain confidence in their shooting, the group meets at Barnett’s Guns and Indoor Range in Hampton once a month. 

“The way crime is on the increase right now, we have a lot of reasons for coming to this,” Sims said. “Most predominantly it’s to be able to defend yourself.”

Each meeting starts with one hour of classroom time. Though The Well Armed Woman is independent of the National Rifle Association, instructors are NRA certified.

“We have people that have never shot before and then we have people that have years of experience,” Sims said.

After the educational portion of the meeting, the woman head to the range for an hour of shooting drills.

“It is empowering to be able to shoot your own gun, and to have a way to protect yourself,” said Nancy Randall, who has been a member of the group for a year.

As an instructor, Sims loves watching new gun users finally hit their target.

“Just that look on their face when they [hit] something, that’s the world to me,” she said.

You can learn more about meetings by email: twawpineyflats@gmail.com

The group is also accessible via Facebook: www.facebook.com/TWAWPineyFlatsTN/

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