A League of Their Own: A Girl & A Gun Raises Industry Standards

A Girl and A Gun Women’s Shooting League is once again at the forefront of higher standards for instructors within the firearms industry.

BURNET, TX – Spring is a busy time of year for the firearms community, and this year has been busier than ever. One highlight of my spring is always the A Girl and A Gun Women’s Shooting League National Conference. I’m so fortunate that it’s basically offered in my backyard, in Burnet, TX, at Reveille Peak Ranch. The city of Burnet and the surrounding communities are gracious and welcoming hosts, and Reveille Peak is a top-notch facility that, like conference itself, improves year over year.

The AG&AG organization is relatively young, and this was only the 6th annual national conference. It was held April 19-22, with three additional training days before the conference for leadership. What was particularly impressive this year is how the event’s organizers, Julianna Crowder and Robyn Sandoval, have learned from each preceding year and applied those lessons to make this one of the preeminent training opportunities in the nation. This year, 350 members, 50 facilitators, and an all-star cast of top-tier instructors converged on Burnet County for three days of serious and dedicated classes. Topics included beginner to advanced levels on pistol, rifle and shotgun platforms, as well as survival skills and mindset classes crafted to get women thinking about their own safety and independence on many levels. The instructor cadre included:

Leadership Development

Conference began three days early for facilitators and A-Team (chapter members who help with events and are NRA Range Safety Officers). Leadership training is usually always free or extremely low-cost thanks to a bevvy of national sponsors, and ammo is provided, as well. This structure makes it possible for nearly half of the country’s facilitators to make the trip to Texas and stay for a whopping 7 full days of training and growing. This year, Tatiana Whitlock came aboard as AG&AG’s National Director of Training, putting together a structured and purpose-driven leadership development program meant to raise the bar for the instructors who lead AG&AG chapters.

Raising Industry Standards

A Girl and A Gun leadership and facilitators have never been satisfied with the ubiquitous lack of standards within the firearms industry. While facilitators have always been required to complete NRA Basic Pistol Instructor training, we also know that that is the most basic of the basic training, and it’s only a first step in becoming truly competent in our shooting and instruction skills. That fact was ingrained in all of us from the beginning. Kathy Jackson (The Cornered Cat) established a foundation for leadership training within the organization. What has changed under Whitlock’s leadership is that now, A Girl and A Gun is rolling out branded training modules and requiring instructors (facilitators) who teach those modules to train, test, and document proficiency via objective standards that are recognized throughout the industry.

There’s that phrase again: objective standards. It’s a bellwether phrase for the future of the gun industry, and AG&AG is leading the charge.

A Look Ahead

A Girl and A Gun has only been around for 7 years, but in that short time, the organization has managed to stay ahead of industry trends and advances by about 2 years. When the firearms instructor community was still caught up in chest-thumping and “tactical” skills debates, AG&AG facilitator/instructors were developing their emergency medical toolkits and began keeping IFAKs (Individual First Aid Kits) and trauma kits on their person or at the firing line. Last year, every chapter facilitator was given a free trauma kit that included a tourniquet, chest seal, combat gauze and a pressure bandage. This year, every woman who attended leadership development completed Stop the Bleed training by Dark Angel Medical.

A Girl & A Gun is, without a doubt, among the safest and most prepared training organizations within the private-sector firearms community. The industry is sitting up and taking notice, and I can only imagine that raising the standards for A Girl & A Gun will trickle down to the larger firearms training community. Look for that sea change in about two years.

Interested in learning more about A Girl & A Gun Women’s Shooting League? Join the Temple Chapter for our First Tuesday Girls’ Night Out at Temple Gun Club, follow our Google Calendar or join our Facebook Group to keep up with events and news. All skill levels are welcome.

NRA Refuse To Be A Victim Seminar Slated for February 25 in Temple

Crime prevention seminar helps students build personal safety toolkit.

Texas Personal Defense Training will offer the National Rifle Association’s award-winning crime prevention and personal safety seminar, Refuse To Be A Victim®, on February 25, 2017, at Ratibor Country Grill. This event will run from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., with lunch on your own to follow. Cost is $40 for attendees, and $30 for members of A Girl and A Gun Women’s Shooting League.

Becky Dolgener, NRA Instructor, said the class is a natural next step for Texas Personal Defense Training.

“Our focus is helping women—and all Central Texans—to place more value on their own safety,” Dolgener explained. “What we started when we brought A Girl and A Gun Women’s Shooting League to Temple is just the beginning, and it caught on in a big way with lots of local women wanting to share their love for firearms. Whatever gets people thinking about their safety, we’re all for it.”

Dolgener launched the Temple Chapter of A Girl and A Gun Women’s Shooting League in June 2015. The group hosts multiple events each month at local shooting ranges, introducing women to the shooting sports while emphasizing education and safety. The group’s core membership is made up primarily of NRA-certified Range Safety Officers, who assist at events. While Refuse To Be A Victim seminars aren’t firearms classes, Dolgener says they’re essential to her mission.

“Our goal is to help our students build their safety toolkit, and that requires looking at personal safety strategies from lots of different angles.”

Developed in response to nationwide requests for crime prevention seminars, Refuse To Be A Victim teaches methods to avoid dangerous situations and prevent criminal confrontations. Seminar participants will be presented with a variety of common‑sense crime prevention and personal safety strategies and devices that may be integrated into their personal, home, automobile, telephone, technological, and travel security.

Since 1993, Refuse To Be A Victim has been endorsed by law enforcement members throughout the United States for its positive impact. With more than 7,000 instructors, seminars have been held in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nra-refuse-to-be-a-victim-seminar-tickets-31262990446 for more information. Please note: this is NOT a firearms training program.

Women’s Shooting League Features Personalized Training Focus

A Girl and A Gun-Temple welcomes new shooters to the League’s signature event, Girls’ Night Out, at 6 p.m. the first Tuesday of every month at Temple Gun Club. Email agirlandaguntemple@gmail.com for more information, or join the group’s Facebook page, Temple TX A Girl and A Gun.

A Girl and A Gun Women’s Shooting League’s new Temple chapter began hosting events in June 2015, with an influx of new members who just can’t wait to learn more about shooting sports and gun safety. Facilitator Becky Dolgener said the launch attracted ladies of all ages and backgrounds who all had very specific reasons for seeking out the group.

“I asked every woman there why she came, and most of them want to learn more about shooting in a safe and supportive environment,” she said. “Luckily, that’s just what A Girl and A Gun is all about.”

Founded in 2010 by Austin-area firearms instructor Julianna Crowder, A Girl and A Gun Women’s Shooting League has grown to more than 85 chapters across the United States with more than 4,300 members. League events include educational clinics, one-on-one coaching from instructor-facilitators, and an emphasis on getting more women involved in shooting sports.

“Local women need a resource for personalized shooting instruction and safety education, both for themselves and for their families,” Dolgener said. “The Temple Chapter of A Girl and A Gun will meet our members where they are; we’re going to start by providing expert instruction in gun safety, safe and effective concealed carry methods, and proper handgun selection.”

But, the group’s offerings don’t stop there. AG&AG members are encouraged to participate in the shooting sports, and Dolgener says the group seeks out learning opportunities for local ladies to learn about sports such as 3-Gun, International Defensive Pistol Association-style shooting matches, steel shooting, skeet, and sporting clays. As the group gears up for the AGAG National Conference in April, the group will focus on foundational clinics such as gun cleaning and maintenance, gear and gun selection, and drawing from holster, maintaining the group’s dedication to safety and education.

A Girl and A Gun-Temple welcomes new shooters to the League’s signature event, Girls’ Night Out, at 6 p.m. the first Tuesday of every month at Temple Gun Club. Email agirlandaguntemple@gmail.com for more information, or join the group’s Facebook page, Temple TX A Girl and A Gun.

Former Anti-Gunner Now CEO of International Women’s Shooting League

A Girl and A Gun Women’s Shooting League CEO Robyn Sandoval shares her story in the viral article, Discoveries of an Anti-Gunner: My Conversion to the Other Side.

CEDAR PARK, TX–A Girl and A Gun Women’s Shooting League has, in less than a decade, revolutionized the shooting sports industry and shattered the glass ceiling that had previously marginalized women shooters. CEO Robyn Sandoval recently shared her own story of transformation, and won the Internet. Read Robyn’s Discoveries of an Anti-Gunner: My Conversion to the Other Side, and see intelligent firearms discussion in action.

Ready to learn more about guns? Join the Temple Chapter of A Girl and A Gun Women’s Shooting League for Girls’ Night Out the first Tuesday of each month. Find us on Facebook to get event notices and learn about nearby firearms education and training, and keep your focus on improving your skills as you train for real life.