Suzi Rouse, 50, has been president of the Oklahoma City Gun Club, one of the largest in the country, for the past eight years.
She is the first female president in the club’s 50-plus year history. The OKC Gun Club began near Lake Hefner and was incorporated in 1958. In the early ’60s, the club moved north of Arcadia, where it now has several ranges on almost a section of land.
Q: When did you first pick up a gun and start shooting?
A: In 1996. I grew up with guns. My brother hunted, but girls didn’t shoot when I was growing up, so I never did. But after I met my husband, he was a Marine, and he started me shooting pistols. Then he introduced me to cowboy action shooting at the gun club.
What was that like?
It was definitely good ol’ boy on the cowboy action side at the time. There were no women shooting cowboy action. Then I started shooting benchrest (the rifle range) with a group of older gentlemen who had been shooting 50 years. These were guys who were original members of the club.
Since there were no women shooting, they had an outhouse with no door. The next time I came to shoot, they tacked up a blanket for a door. I definitely felt acceptance at that point. I was definitely in the club.
How did a woman get to be the president of a good ol’ boys club?
After I started shooting, they really decided they needed some kind of women’s shooting program. I am very proud of the fact that the club is forward thinking and knows the future of shooting is embracing youth and women.
The next thing I know, I was at a board meeting and they had established a women’s division and I was put in charge. I called the NRA (National Rifle Association) and they had just started their Women on Target program (clinics that teach women the basics of the shooting sports). In 2000, we started the women’s fun shoot.
I was elected second vice-president of the club in 2001 and a couple of years later was voted on the board (of directors). I was elected president (by the board) in 2006.
How many members are there in the OKC Gun Club and how many are women?