Retired Placer County California deputy sheriff Angela Ford is spending her days working to combat a different kind of injustice: women unprepared to defend themselves.
“With a firearm in her hand, a woman can equally defend herself as a man can,” Ford says. As the instructor of a firearm training course called “Girls, Giggles & Guns”, she knows firsthand how learning to shoot and handle a gun can provide women with confidence and empower them to own their personal protection plan.
“Customary gun store or range, probably 95-98 percent of the customers were always men. That has changed dramatically in the last 10 years,” said Jerod Johnson, owner of a gun store called The Range. “The last five years it’s double over what it did 10 years ago, and it’s continuing to double at a rapid rate.”
“It’s not like, ‘Joe and his pickup truck’ anymore. It’s more diversified than that,” said Torie Quinterno, manager of The Range.
“I would say, in the beginning when we first opened eight years ago, it would probably around 15 percent. Now, in today’s day, we’re looking at 30 to 35 percent female shooters,” said Josh Deaser, owner of Just Guns.
“Now, with the way that our country’s changing, we have a lot of women living by themselves, they want to learn to protect themselves,” said Ford, who has taught more than 3,000 women how to shoot and who’s class currently has a six-month waiting list.
“It’s a Ladies Firearms Familiarization Class, and it’s designed pretty much for women with little or no experience, and the goal is to educate them on firearms laws, safety and to empower them to be safe around firearms,” she said.
Students who have completed the class are a reflection of exactly why courses like Ford’s are in such high demand.
“I took the class because I have a huge respect for guns, but I didn’t understand them, and I think it was fear of the unknown,” Ford’s student Julie Cannon said.
“When you walk in, especially as a woman walking into a gun range, it’s intimidating. And so, to be able to come in with other women, and to be here in the class, there’s an instant comfort level,” Joy Porter, another student told reporters.
“We live in a day and age where women are empowered, and they’re more independent, and with that comes a need to defend ourselves,” Cannon added.
For more information about Angela Ford’s class, click here or call (530) 263-5372.