Reporting Anjali Hemphill
GRASS VALLEY (CBS13) – Girls, Giggles and Guns, it’s the name of a group of local women learning their way around a firearm.
Many of the women say they’ve had guns in their homes for years, but they are just now learning how to use them.
What started as just a couple of girls turned into almost 20 in every class.
“We have fun. We laugh. At the same time, we really stress safety,” said Angela Ford.
Ford teaches a shooting class at The Range in Grass Valley, which is designed specifically for women. However, it’s anything but girly.
“No painting nails. Actually, we ruin our nails in this class,” said Ford.
“I think it adds to being more well rounded. It’s really hard to defend yourself with a set of knitting needles,” joked one student.
These women all have something in common: they want to learn how to handle a gun without anyone firing back.
“I think women come with having a lot of fear about being around other men and learning. Angela removes that from her class with all women,” the student said.
Ford has worked with the Placer County Sheriff’s Department and knows her way around any gun. She started the class in June 2005, after requests for a ladies-only class. Lately, the class’ popularity has grown so much that Ford has had to create a waiting list.
“They come into the class because they are scared. A lot of them say they are afraid to touch a firearm when we first start, and by the time we leave, they know how to operate it. They know how to make it safe, and it’s empowering for them,” she said.
It’s empowering, but also a lot of fun. Ford says the name of the class came from a review of her class from one of her students.
“She finished her email and said ‘girls giggles and guns how fun!’ and we realized that really exemplified what the class stood for,” said Ford.
She says she never knew the class would be such a hit, drawing women from all over Northern California. It seems to be right on target with what many women these days want and need.
“If you’re gonna have a firearm in your house and your husband has it there, and you don’t know how to fire it, you should learn. Because, you may be the only person home and you need to know how to shoot that gun,” one student said.
The class runs twice a month on the weekends, but those interested still have to get through a two month waiting list to take a shot.
The National Rifle Association says they started holding shooting clinics for woman in 2000, with 500 women attending. In 2010, attendance had increased to 9,500.