Empowering women through guns, club looks to add Plattsburgh chapter

The Plattsburgh Rod and Gun Club is looking to add a Well Armed Woman chapter to the North Country. The group, which is aimed toward women gun owners, would meet to provide weapon training and practice. (Photo provided)

PLATTSBURGH — Looking to empower women through weapons, The Well Armed Woman could be adding a chapter to Plattsburgh.

Carrie Lightfoot, founder of The Well Armed Woman, said she created the group as a resource for women gun owners after she experienced an abusive and violent relationship with her ex-husband that led to stalking after their separation, she said on the group’s website.

Watching the news one day, she saw a report of a woman who was murdered by her ex-husband.

“I sat there thinking that could be me,” Lightfoot wrote. “All of these things happening simultaneously in my world brought me to the place where I knew I had to do something and become my own self-protector.”

So she decided to become a gun owner, but she said she was quickly discouraged by the lack of educational resources that were aimed toward women, saying she was frustrated by the “male-driven industry” that offered “condescending and sometimes, downright insulting” information to her.

“They simply weren’t talking to me or meeting my needs as a woman interested in gun ownership,” she said. “There was a great divide between women’s interest in guns and the male-dominated ‘camo and ammo’ firearm industry.”

Ian Dunbar, chairman of the Plattsburgh Rod and Gun Club and an NRA certified pistol and rifle instructor, has noticed something similar.

“One thing I’ve learned while instructing people, is that females seem to learn better with females instructing,” he said.

Dunbar, who is coordinating an informational meeting for a possible Plattsburgh Well Armed Woman Chapter Aug. 18 at the Plattsburgh Rod and Gun Club, said he’s seeking how much interest there is for the group.

Dunbar said for a chapter to start, a leader would need to be selected with enough participants. He said anyone with a firearm looking to learn how to safely handle it would be a good fit for the chapter.

“Who couldn’t use that?” he said.

Meetings would include one hour of instruction on topics like safety and fundamentals, while the rest would be spent practicing shooting at the range, Dunbar said.

“I just love the name, the idea,” Dunbar said of The Well Armed Woman. “We’re seeing a lot of first-time users that are buying guns and there’s nothing specifically for them.”

“From my research, looking into the Well Armed Woman, they really cover everything — the obligation of a firearms owner, storage and stuff like that,” he continued.


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