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Locked and loaded: Women take over the gun range

by Ed Godfrey Published: September 7, 2013

Fourteen years ago, a suggestion from then-member, now Oklahoma City Gun Club President, Suzi Rouse for a women's-only instructional shoot at the club was met with skepticism by the male members.

“The boys said, ‘Honey, you will be lucky if you get 10 women.' I got 57,” Rouse said.

Fourteen years later, the event has grown to almost 600 participants, the maximum the Oklahoma City Gun Club can accommodate for the event, which allows women to shoot .22-caliber handguns, all kinds of lever- and bolt-action .22 rifles, shotguns and AR-15s.

“It's basically designed for an absolute rookie,” Rouse said of Saturday's 14th annual fun shoot just for women. “When they come in the morning they are absolutely intimidated. By the end of the day, they are loving it.”

The women's-only fun shoot is funded by a grant from the National Rifle Association's Women On Target program, which also funds other women's instructional shoots around the country. The Oklahoma City women's fun shoot, however, is the largest, Rouse said.

Benelli donated all the shotguns for the women to shoot. Smith & Wesson and Glock provided the handguns. DPMS Panther Arms of Minnesota provided the high-powered AR-15s, which seemed to be most of the ladies' gun of choice on Saturday.

Law enforcement officers from the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and the Midwest City Police Department, as well as Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation employees, served as instructors.

The women are divided into groups of 100 each and move from range to range throughout the day, which each person getting a chance to shoot all of the guns at metal targets and clay pigeons.

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by Ed Godfrey
Copy Editor, Outdoors Editor, Rodeo, River Sports Reporter
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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