Girls and guns, a group targets females to shoot and socialize

Group of women at shooting range
Group of women at shooting range
'Sons of Guns' star Stephanie was at the shooting range
'Sons of Guns' star Stephanie was at the shooting range

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It's your constitutional right to bear arms. But when it comes to guns guys typically are the biggest carriers. However, a group of local girls is taking aim at bridging the gap by teaching technique.

Stephanie Hayden said her father taught her to shoot a gun when she was five years old. She has been practicing ever since. Only now she is among a group of girls who have the same aim, being able to socialize and shoot safely.

Aurora Harkins, a facilitator of a group called A Girl and a Gun" brought the bunch together.

"There's a lot of fear factor in guns and with that you have to know how to properly use it, know how it functions, what's going to do when you pull that trigger," Harkins said.

Harkins is certified to teach members how to properly shoot a firearm.

Shooting has become a pastime for Harkins and the girls in her group. It is the first of its kind in Louisiana.

To date, this year, nearly 12,000 concealed weapon permits were approved in Louisiana. But according to state police, only 20 percent are females.

"I find that very unfortunate, and that is the main reason I am a part of this group. I really want to bring as many women as I can to this sport. It's not just a sport, it's a sport that will ultimately help save your life one day," Hayden said.

Hayden said it is the reason she learned at such a young age and why she has become so confident.

"I feel very secure when I'm walking down the street. It doesn't matter if I'm in the worst part of town or the best part of town," Hayden said.

It is an awareness that ladies come to learn at the range. It begins with a girl and a gun.

A Girl and a Gun has 65 members locally and 600 nationwide.

The local group meets at Precision Firearms every second and fourth Tuesday of the month, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Membership carries a $50 annual fee, which includes use of the range.

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