A Detroit firearms instructor is planning this weekend the largest gun training event for women ever in the state.
Rick Ector, who runs Legally Armed in Detroit – or LAID – has held similar events in the past, including one last year that attracted 1,938 participants, but nothing this ambitious.
The two-day mass training will be held Saturday and Sunday, August 21-22 at two gun ranges in Taylor, Michigan: Top Gun Shooting Sports and Recoil Firearms from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. This is the tenth annual event, with Ector seeing growth each year. The press release stated that the first year of training in 2011 had only 50 participants, which grew to nearly two thousand at the 2020 training.
Ector, a credentialed National Rifle Association firearms trainer, said in a news release that he hopes the free training will entice women “who are curious about firearms and their role in self-defense but are reluctant to investigate due to fears.”
“If giving women a free lesson by a credentialed professional translates into women just trying it, it’ll be a productive use of my time,” Ector said. According to the press release, Ector began the program “after seeing a local television newscast of a young woman’s body being discovered on an east-side Detroit street ten years ago.”
Ector is requiring free advance registration here to participate, which includes “the Firearm Instructor’s safety briefing, the usage of a firearm, ammunition, and range time,” according to his press release. The event is put on by Ector and other volunteers who support the cause. A Facebook group is utilized for the planning and organizing of the event and has 249 members.
The event is open to women aged 12 and older, according to the Facebook event information. Each participant will be “issued ammo, safety glasses, hearing protection, and a handgun to borrow under the direct supervision of a qualified trainer to discharge 21 rounds of ammunition.” A disclaimer does state that the event only applies to those who “have not had their firearm rights extinguished.”
Ector said there’s “definitely a desire for this kind of training; we’re getting people from all over the country signing up, and a lot of them are first-time gun owners.” Reports from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which assists in tracking gun sales, state that first-time gun buyers and African Americans are the largest population groups obtaining firearms.
According to World Population Review, approximately 40% of Michiganders are gun owners, with over 60,000 registered guns.
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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to [email protected].
Photo “Rick Ector” by Rick’s Firearm Academy of Detroit.