Getting Your Lady to Shoot

This is a guest post by Stephanie DiGennaro

Getting your lady to shoot.

Men, would you like your ladies to learn how to shoot whether it’s to go to the range with you or for self-defense? Keep in mind, this can be getting your lady to shootsomething she wants to learn on her own or something she may need a little coaxing. Either way, be calm and patient with her or help her find a reputable instructor to teach her as you may not be her best option for an instructor.

Here’s my story and why I say you may not be her best option:

My father is an avid hunter and gun enthusiast; however, he never taught me the basics of shooting. I would shoot with him here and there when he would be sighting in his guns, but there was no instruction other than “KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER!!” (I heard this even though my finger was no where close to the trigger as all fingers were on the grip of the pistol.) This, as you can imagine, was a little nerve-wracking to say the least. I would get frustrated and just say forget it and went on about my day. Needless to say, my dad was not the ideal person to teach me how to properly shoot.

Being the gun enthusiast he is, my Dad kept at me to get my concealed pistol/revolver permit (CPP). His reasoning was I had to get it whether I’d use it or not before we no longer can or the laws change regarding CPPs in West Virginia. Finally, I decided this was the thing for me to do. (Thanks, Dad!)

I started with basically zero gun knowledge other than “KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER!” I knew my dad was not the teacher for me nor was my boyfriend. I decided to contact the local gun store/range I had heard good things about and inquired about courses. I started with a personal handgun shooting course which was a two hour private course. The course is designed to teach the student safe gun handling as well as how to shoot properly and accurately. The owner of the store was my instructor. He was very patient, answered all of my questions, and most important of all he did not yell at me. My instructor did not make me feel intimidated in any way. After we discussed safe gun handling and different types of handguns, we headed for the range. He had me start with a .22 revolver and then we went to a .38 Special. He noticed I was anticipating the recoil; so, he had me balance an empty casing on the barrel while I dry-fired with the goal being for the casing not to fall. Once I achieved that, we went back to live fire. Before I left that day, I was shooting a .45 semi-automatic. We only moved on to the next caliber IF and WHEN I was ready.

The personal handgun shooting course fueled a flame for me to learn more. Soon after, I signed up for the NRA Basic Pistol course with the same instructor. This course was eight hours and covered much more than the personal course covered. This course included a written exam and shooting qualification which I passed with no issues. I took my certificate to the Sherriff’s Department, completed the CPP application and paid the required fees to obtain my CPP for West Virginia.

In addition to finding a reputable instructor your lady will be comfortable with, there are women’s only groups that could be beneficial. The Well Armed Woman, LLC (TWAW) has 150 chapters throughout 41 states with over 3,500 members. Many of TWAW chapter leaders are NRA instructors.

A few years later, I am now a NRA instructor, TWAW WV State Chapter Leader, and one of less than 50 TWAW Certified Instructors. I pursued (and continue to pursue) additional training and education so that I might be able to assist other women to learn about firearms.


getting your lady to shootStephanie DiGennaro lives in West Virginia. Her professional background is in business and accounting. Her desire to learn more about firearms came from the prodding of her father approximately five years ago. Since that time, she has attended numerous firearms training courses. In February 2013, Stephanie accepted the volunteer position of West Virginia State Chapter Leader for The Well Armed Woman (TWAW) Shooting Chapters as well as the leader for the local TWAW Summit Point WV Shooting Chapter.  She is also a NRA and The Well Armed Woman Certified Instructor and owner of RAW: Responsibly Armed Women, LLC.


TWAW Summit Point WV Shooting Chapter’s FB page:!/TheWellArmedWomanSummitPointWVChapter

The Well Armed Woman:

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