New Chapter of The Well Armed Woman Opens in Oklahoma

The Well Armed Woman has opened a new chapter, with the first meeting of the Southwest Oklahoma chapter the past weekend.

The Chisholm Trail chapter of TWAW drew 26 women for its meet and greet at Firearms Solutions in Duncan, Oklahoma, according to this story from kswo.com. The organization's mission is to educate, equip, and empower women in the world of firearms. The nonprofit organization now has 233 chapters in 49 states and Puerto Rico. The new chapter represents the first of its kind in this part of Oklahoma.

"It gives ladies confidence in themselves, and they are confident to know that, if the need arises, they can protect themselves, and they will know how to do it," said Chapter Leader Taryn Stewart, who has been looking to start a local chapter of TWAW for about two years, because she saw a need, the story says.

"It is amazing! I cannot believe how many women are in that room right now and it just shows me that we needed this in our community. The women needed this and wanted it," Stewart said.

Stewart is an NRA Certified Basic Pistol instructor and a Range Safety Officer who says she'll be teaching new gun handling skills to the women in her chapter each week.

"We'll definitely start with the basics. What are firearms? The types of firearms. Safety stance, grip, side alignment, cleaning, storage and our rights as gun owners," she said.

To join the chapter, women must be over 21 and pony up $50 for a yearly membership and $5 for each shooting session.

New member Nancy Cisneros has been shooting for two years and wants to learn as much as she can.

"Just learning how to be a better shot, how to better take care of myself—how to defend myself—I pray I never have to, but if I have to…I want to," Cisneros says.

TWAW was started five years ago by businesswoman Carrie Lightfoot as an online store selling holsters and other gun gear for women. In 2013, she launched her TWAW chapter program along with instructor-certification training. TAWAW Chapter leaders become liaisons between TWAW and ranges, and work to offer safe and appealing environments for training women.