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Private Permit to Carry Classes

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I am currently working on finalizing the details on several private corporate permit to carry classes.  I thought it might be a nice time to plant the seed on this if you are a business owner.

If you are Second Amendment Friendly, this may be a great way to introduce the fact to your clientele.  For retail businesses it is a great community event that provides in most cases a much needed service.  Other industries that might consider it would be real estate professionals.  Think about how many realtors are out and about on their own with clients.  Property Management firms, ditto story.  One I hadn’t thought of until I was approached was financial planners.  This is a great service to offer especially to their female clientele to empower them.  As I teach more than just Permit to Carry, an intro to gun or basic handgun class may be appropriate.   Other opportunities might be employee based classes done on location at convenient times for staff and work schedules.

Here are some things to consider if you are not sure where you stand as a business owner as reported today by Fox Small Business News:

There are some social issues in our country that are just downright contentious and even after years of public debate, sides seem as polarized as ever. Most don’t impact the small business owner, but gun law is an issue that some owners need to consider.

State and local gun laws are changing rapidly, and in many states it is fairly easy to obtain a concealed carry permit and when this is so, usually businesses have the option to prohibit guns in their establishments. Generally, this requires posting a sign at entrances.

An informal survey conducted by the Wall Street Journal found that while larger chain restaurants tend to prohibit guns, there’s a trend among smaller restaurants to allow guns and even encourage them. You’ll find promotions like “Second Amendment Wednesday” and signs welcoming gun owners at restaurants in states with more liberal concealed carry permit laws. Some restaurants offer discounts to gun toters.

Three points to consider

There are three issues to consider when formulating your own policy. First, make sure you understand state and local laws in your area. Second, you need to consider the attitude of your customers. Third, you should consider the safety of your customers. (Listing this third does not imply it is any less important; however, there are some legal issues that may not be fully settled right now that you need to think about.)
Here is the full link if you would like:

http://smallbusiness.foxbusiness.com/entrepreneurs/2014/08/20/should-your-small-business-welcome-legally-carried-guns/

 

Our info on training can be found by simply clicking here.

We believe in Responsibly Armed Americans!

 

 

 

 

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The Pro’s Biggest Weapon-Dry Firing

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I am continually surprised at my ladies classes that women have not been let in on the secret of dry firing.  I guess not everybody walks around their office dry firing their gun  like me :)  Thought I would give you some specifics to try, I guarantee this is the single most important thing you can do to improve your shooting skills.

Dry fire is performing the same actions as you would at the range without live ammunition in your gun. Dry firing perfects your technique, helps you memorize muscle movement and can increase your speed and accuracy. As always we are going to follow our safety rules and keep treating our gun as if it is loaded so we never point it at anyone or anything we are not willing to destroy.  Here are the steps to practice safe dry firing:

Dry Firing Must be Done in Three Stages:

1.Before Dry Firing Begins:  Clear the room of ALL live ammunition.
2.During Dry Firing:  Treat the exercise as though it is a LIVE FIRE exercise, including maintaining muzzle control, and using a backstop that can effectively stop a live round!
3.After Dry Firing End: Perform a clearance procedure BEFORE returning your gun to its proper location.

Practicing dry firing helps your sight alignment and trigger control.  Beginners often have a hard time with the flinch response and managing the recoil.  By practicing dry firing you can concentrate on your trigger control which will help minimize the flinch and help you control the recoil at the range.  Start your practice by concentrating on your stance and sight picture without pulling the trigger, do this 10-15 times.  Then add in the trigger pull for another 10-15 times.  Concentrate on a smooth pull from start to finish, not squeezing the trigger but rather a fluid front to back motion.

If you have your permit and carry, this is also a fine time to practice drawing from your purse or holster when you are at home practicing.  Most ranges do NOT allow holster work for safety reasons.

As you improve, take the next step in dry firing by dry firing 2-3 times, changing out your mag or clearing a pretend jam.  If you are still shooting with one eye closed, practice dry firing with both eyes open.

Again as you are improving dry firing is a great time to add other elements like flashlights and moving and dry firing from alternate positions when you are in your home environment.

Some people may tell you that dry firing can harm a gun. I have talked to two gunsmiths who are armourers as well and they tell me all calibers on handguns EXCEPT the rimfire .22 are just fine to dry fire. However on an older gun you may want to use snap caps.  If you are unsure, contact your gun’s manufacturer or use snap caps in the appropriate caliber of your gun. Snap caps are dummy rounds. They do not fire out of the gun.

One of the tools I use in dry firing and really like is by Laserlyte and is shaped like ammo and goes right in your barrel.  When you pull the trigger, the laser “fires” and hits your target.  This has helped me with that flinch factor and also figuring out the sweet spot on my trigger fingers.  In my opinion this is a much better gauge of dry firing then the old penny on the barrel technique.

My routine at the range also includes dry firing. I start out with 15-18 dry fires with my laser, then I work through my live ammo and finish with dry firing.  It really has helped my marksmanship!

If this has helped you, please share on social media!

 

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Range Etiquette for Women

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Every range has their own set of rules right?  There are of course our Universal Safety Rules which we teach at the USCCA that I have listed below. I put them to an acronym to help me remember them FLPS.  Finger, Loaded, Point and Sure.  See below.   What I have come to learn is that as women, there are subtle nuances that we need to be aware of when we are in the range.

Many women (and some men I have observed) lack the strength or knowledge perhaps of clearing their firearm in a safe fashion.  Imagine yourself in a lane at the range with a shooter on your right and a shooter on your left.  Your semi-auto jams and when you go to clear it, your muzzle ends up pointing to the left or right as you are not strong enough to clear it with the barrel facing downrange.  I have also seen the muzzle go left or right when dropping or loading a magazine.  A very simple fix to this is to turn your body at a 90 degree angle (or sideways for the math challenged) whenever you are working with your firearm.  This allows you to keep the muzzle pointed downrange.  Very simple and oh so much safer.

As women, I sometimes think we are intimidated at the range as we are the only one or the only one of a few.  Don’t be!  I am not advising being agressive or bossy but rather open and yet knowledgeable.  Be confident in the firearm you are practicing with and be sure you know and follow universal safety rules along with any that particular range has.  Furthermore, be confident to say something (nicely! :)) to anyone male or female who might be practicing an unsafe procedure.  It is not always the most comfortable thing to do but it is better then being shot I am thinking!  If you are too uncomfortable to do it, seek out the Range Master and share your concern.

As Always Keep Shooting!

 

FLPS:

1. .Keep your finger OFF the trigger and outside the trigger guard until you are on target and have made the decision to shoot! Until these criteria are met, your trigger finger should be straight and placed firmly on the frame of the firearm.  In a defensive situation, do NOT put your finger in the trigger guard unless all requirements have been met for the use of deadly force.  Training consistently with this method will avoid a negligent discharge in a stress situation, when your body’s natural adrenaline dump will cause the strength of your grip to increase.
2. Treat all guns as though they are always loaded, and always perform a clearance check every time you pick it up! Most firearm “accidents” occur with firearms that the users had sworn were unloaded.  Never, never, never grow careless with a firearm.  Every single time you pick it up, perform the proper clearance procedure and educate those in your household how to do the same.  Treat a firearm that you’ve just unloaded with the exact same respect as one that you’ve just loaded.
3. Never point your gun at anything that you are not willing to destroy! While your firearm has to point somewhere, you should always ensure that it’s pointed in a direction that can serve as a backstop if the firearm were to discharge.  A good method to practice this rule is to pretend that a laser extends out from the end of the barrel.  You should NEVER let that imaginary beam touch anything that won’t stop a bullet (that includes any wall, ceiling, or floor that could not stop a bullet) or ANYONE (that includes your own hands, legs, or body) unless you are in a defensive situation and all criteria is present for the use of deadly force.
4.Always be sure of your target and beyond! Said another way, you must POSITIVELY identify your target before you shoot and you MUST be convinced that anything that you shoot at (a target on the range, or an attacker in a parking garage) must have an effective backstop to stop your bullet, otherwise you MUST NOT SHOOT!
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Ladies and Self Defense Guns

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I think alot of women are getting a raw deal on their guns.  Let me explain, I see many women shooting guns that overpower them.  They have bought into what they think is wisdom from the industry (mainly male perspective..sorry guys) that you have to shoot the largest caliber you can for self defense.  Shooting Illustrated published that more bad guys were stopped by .22 LR ammo than any other round.  Begs the question, why not a .22LR gun?

Don’t get me wrong, love shooting hubbys .45 Kimber.  Need to have a smoke after I shoot that bad boy and love it! However, is it practical for weekly shooting either from endurance or ammo cost?  Not for me!  My Retired Army Sniper brother gave me the best advice.  Shoot something you are comfortable shooting, that you will practice with and therefore become good at shooting.  That means something different for every person, man or woman.

At a recent event I watched several ladies struggle with their firearms. Not because they didn’t understand the mechanics of them but rather they were not strong enough to handle them.  While in a gunfight the rule is better to have a gun than not, you also have to be able to load it and shoot it to be effective.  I also don’t think in a defensive situation if you have a gun and the bad guy doesn’t will he look at your .22 and say “oh it’s just a .22, no big deal!”

At this same event I watched a gal with a nice little .22 LR drill multiple rounds through the center x.  I would rather have a student have confidence not only in her marksmanship but in the handling of the gun.  If she is having fun shooting it and shooting it well, the more comfortable and the more muscle memory she will develop because she will shoot it regularly!

There are many .22 LR to choose from and finding one that is right for you is key.  More mature women might like a revolver, easier to load (as you don’t have to have the strength to rack it) and simple mechanics for cleaning etc. I had the opportunity this past weekend to ask Rob Pincus From Personal Defense Network what he recommends. His pick was the Beretta 86 Tip up where the barrel actual tips up rather than racks.  Michael Martin from USCCA recommends the Walther P22 which i had a chance to shoot as well.  Easy to use slide and nice size. Whichever gun you choose, you have to be able to handle it well.  Some stats you might not know on a .22LR that I found fascinating.  A .22 leaving the barrel travels at 1060 Feet Per Second.  That equates to 722 MPH versus a .9 which is 787 MPH. The differences are in the muzzle energy and the impact energy or knockdown power.

No doubt a .9 or .45 is going to do more damage but only if you hit the target.  I am not advocating women only shoot a .22. I am just giving some practical reasons why, if you are struggling with a larger caliber, you should consider staying with a .22!

As Always Keep on Shooting!

 

 

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Situational Awareness

Picture1As a registered permit holder, I understand clearly that I am held to a higher standard and have a greater responsibility.  Love the quote with Great Power comes Great Responsibility.  Historians will argue on who gets the credit for that but my money is on Jesus..”to whom much has been given, much will be expected”.  Regardless, carrying a gun does come with its own set of rules and some of these translate pretty well to the rest of the population as well.  The one I will talk about today is Situational Awareness.

Situational Awareness is an awareness of our immediate vicinity and of the people and objects within that environment.  I was recently shopping in Ikea.  As I walked around the different areas and levels, I was amazed at the wholehearted lack of attention paid by many people. Whether they were talking on their phone or looking down at it surfing or texting, many people were highly unaware of their situation.  One of my favorite movies is Red.  I think it’s because of Helen Mirren being such a bad mama jama in it but if you watch the character Bruce Willis plays, he is always on the alert.  That is a good lesson for all of us.

Here are some good tips to be 360 degrees aware:

Put the phone away!

Pay attention to your surroundings and the people and objects in them

Pretend that you have a protective bubble around you and keep track of whats going on in the bubble and the vicinity of it, this includes behind you!

Look at people!  I know the old saying “Don’t make eye contact” but experts agree that if you make eye contact the other person know they have been seen and this can be a big difference in a bad situation.

Lastly be prepared for any potential issue.  Trust your instincts and move away from anything that you don’t feel is quite right.

Situational Awareness could just save your life one day!

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Tips for New Women Shooters

I was asked recently to provide some insight for a blog on female gun owners. As the fastest growing demographic you can bet people are interested in this topic! Here are my Top five items I think are key for a new shooters:

Get Educated:

I highly recommend the book Minnesota Permit to Carry a Firearm.  Michael Martin does a great job with visuals and easy to read information for the new shooter.  He is the chief instructor for USCCA which is where my Instructor Certification is coming from as well.  As a new shooter I was very scared of guns and by learning about them I decreased that fear.  I continually watch videos and talk to others to help me learn more and more.  His book so inspired me that I am taking his Instructor class next month.

Start Small:

Many men will put a larger caliber gun in the hands of a women.  By starting with a small caliber .22 women can learn safely and not be overwhelmed by the “bang” and recoil of a big gun.  Start at the range with a qualified instructor who understands where you are coming from and can safely walk you through shooting for the first time and moving forward.  I specifically teach an Intro to Guns for women to do exactly this.  Taking the fear factor out of it is a must!

So Many Guns, So Little Time

So I have shirts that say this as it is my mantra.  When I started I was scared to death of a little .22 caliber pistol.  Now I love to shoot a full size 1911 .45.  Shoot as many guns with experienced shooters as you can. Many gun ranges offer rentals for way less than it costs to buy them :)  Not all calibers shoot the same so don’t be afraid to shoot, shoot and shoot some more.

Listen to Advice and Filter It

Everyone has an opinion. Listen to them all but decide for yourself.  I happen to be a Glock girl but many don’t like glocks.  I always learn something from people that I talk to and oftentimes its great advice!

Get Connected and Be an Advocate

Unfortunately in the world we live in, your gun rights may be taken away unless you help give it a voice.  There are many organizations out there you can be a part of, social media is another great tool to connect with.   I am personally connected with Twin City Gun Owners on Facebook which is a great resource for up to date info on what is going on in the world!  I also organize classes at my local range to help myself and other women connect.

I hope these few quick items help you decide that gun ownership is not scary but rather empowering and that you will reach out today and try it!