MIDDLEPORT — Jessamy Bright is a well-armed woman — she currently carries a Sig Sauer P238 — and she’s hoping to create other well-armed women, too.
Bright, 35, recently founded Meigs County’s Well Armed Woman Southeast Ohio Chapter, with other chapters existing all over the country. The chapter is an attempt to teach women about gun safety and usage in an area dominated by men but is beginning to cater to both men and women.
According to a 2011 Gallop poll, 47 percent of American adults own a gun, with 23 percent of women personally owning a firearm. Bright said that while opportunities are still opening up to women, the demographic is still predominantly male. Well Armed Woman is Bright’s way of helping women learn about firearms in a comfortable, feminine environment, she said.
“Basically my goal, and the goal of Well Armed Woman, is to give education and empower women shooters who want grow,” she said. “I want to teach ladies knowledge and skills in order to use firearms and to get really comfortable enough to shoot well.”
Bright received gun training from her brother-in-law, Tyson Houchens, formerly of the U.S. Army and founder of Patronus Training. She equates learning from him as the reason she became so interested in pistol shooting. Houchens eventually asked Bright to come on as an instructor for Patronus Training, which helped bring a feminine touch and perspective to the company.
“Pretty much anything to do with firearms, we will fix you up or find someone who will,” she said.
Events will be held monthly and are open to all women 21 years or older. The Well Armed Woman has partnered with Native Spirit Grounds to be the host range for monthly events, according to their news release. During the meetings, there will be time devoted to discussion and topical study as well as time on the range, when women will learn about safely handling a gun.
Participants will be required to pay any applicable range fees and costs of ammunition or firearm rentals. Annual chapter membership dues of $50 offers members local and national discounts, chapter hat and member kit, and is used to cover chapter expenses, insurance and events. First-time attendees are not required to join, according to the release.
The first shoots are scheduled for noon Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 30-31) at Native Spirit Grounds, 33520 Howell Hill Road in Pomeroy. Reservations are required. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women interested in learning more can contact Bright at email@example.com; visit The Well Armed Woman website, www.thewellarmedwoman.com; or the Southeast Ohio Chapter Facebook page, www.facebook.com/TheWellArmedWomanSoutheastOhio.
“I basically hope that they come away from class with more confidence and being comfortable handling and shooting their firearms,” she said. “They’re basically going to build proficiency if they ever need to use their firearms. I love connecting with ladies who love to shoot.
“We’ll have a really good day at the range.”