Conservation department offers handgun training for local women

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CALLAWAY COUNTY- The Missouri Department of Conservation held the first of two hands-on basic handgun training classes for women of all ages Tuesday evening. 

This course signals a growing trend among American women. The National Shooting Sports Federation conducted a 2014 study focused on women ages 18 to 65 who already owned at least one firearm. The study found over one third of the women in the study were "new gun owners," meaning they had bought their first gun within the past three years. These new gun owners were primarily between the ages of 18 to 34.

MDC Outdoor Skills Specialist Brian Flowers helped facilitate the training course held at Ammo Alley outside Hartsburg. 

"They gain confidence when they're doing this amongst other women," Flowers said regarding women participating in male-dominant activities like shooting sports. 

After about a 90 minute lecture from the trainers, those in attendence participated in a mentored shooting practice. The women trained with both revolvers and semi-automatic pistols, with the help of instructors. 

One of the participants had taken a similar class covering shotgun use and was the first to sign up for this handgun course. 

"If you don't know anything about guns to begin with, you're going to be afraid of them," Margaret Post said. "I have a healthy respect for guns now."

The MDC will host a second handgun training class Feburary 24 at Ammo Alley in Callaway County.