Detroit, Michigan gun shop owner and Firearms Instructor Rick Ector is set to offer free concealed pistol license (CPL) classes to women on May 21, 2017. Ector says this is the sixth year of his ‘Women at Arms’ class, and he expects around 600 women to attend.
A 2015 study done by the Crime Prevention Research Center, women purchasing firearms jumped 270 percent from 2007-2014. In contrast, men purchasing pistols jumped only 156 percent from previous numbers.
When asked why he offers a free workshop to women, Ector said, “Six years ago, I saw a story about a woman whose body was discarded, and I thought ‘someone should do something [about it]’. That’s when he made the decision to offer the free CPL class.
Ector was robbed at gunpoint in his own driveway became a firearms advocate after this incident in his personal life.
Interviewed at his shop, Rick’s Firearm Academy in Detroit, Ector says, “You’re seeing more women arming themselves. If giving women a free lesson… …translates into women just trying it, it’ll be a productive use of my time.”
Top Gun Shooting Sports Gun Range will be the location of the CPL class, where Ector and other firearms instructors volunteer their time for lessons in gun safety, loading, and even range shooting. Each woman will shoot 21 rounds at the range.
Former Plymouth, Michigan resident Stephanie Crumley, a current resident of Tennessee who is in the U.S. Coast Guard reserve and stationed at the St. Clair Shores Station, took a CPL class last month. She regularly drives from her home to her station, and says, “…when you have to pull over and sleep in a rest area, it’s not safe.”
Crumley adds, “You turn on the news, and you see all the crime. A lot of women are saying they want to protect themselves, so they’re getting (concealed pistol licenses).”
Firearms manufacturers respond to the increasing demand for handguns suitable for women. Not only are they making smaller guns to fit women’s hands, but they’re producing them in colors appealing to women, such as pink and purple.
“Women just want to feel safe, and having a gun makes me feel safe,” Crumley said. “I think as more people own guns, more women won’t be afraid to carry [them].”
Gun safety is one of the major requirements of a CPL class. This includes proper inspection when handling handguns, keeping the gun pointed in a safe direction at all times, and keeping one’s finger off the trigger until ready to fire.
The first year Ector offered the class, he says they had about 50 women. Last year, that number jumped to 400. This year appears to be the best yet.
The class is offered on May 21, 2017, at the Top Gun Shooting Sports Range. The range is located at 22050 Pennsylvania Ave in Taylor, Michigan. Classes begin at 9am, and women can choose a time slot when they register.
To register for classes or learn more about ‘Women at Arms’, visit Ector’s Facebook Event. Information will be posted there after noon on Monday, May 15, 2017, and will remain open until all 600 slots are filled.