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Well-armed women start blossoming on Central Whidbey

Tracey Blanchard, Pam White and Linda Pickering are organizing The Well Armed Women of Whidbey, which holds its first meeting Sunday at the Central Whidbey Sportsman’s Association located on Safari Road off Highway 20 near Outlying Field.  - Nathan Whalen photo
Tracey Blanchard, Pam White and Linda Pickering are organizing The Well Armed Women of Whidbey, which holds its first meeting Sunday at the Central Whidbey Sportsman’s Association located on Safari Road off Highway 20 near Outlying Field.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen photo

Three gun enthusiasts are forming a group on Central Whidbey Island to provide a supportive, encouraging environment for women interested in learning every aspect of shooting.

The Well Armed Woman Whidbey Island Chapter is looking for members. The group is holding its first meeting and shoots 2-4 p.m., on Mothers Day, Sunday, May 12 at the Central Whidbey Sportsman’s Association located at 973 Safari Lane near Outlying Field.

The new group is being organized by shooters Linda Pickering, Pam White and Tracey Blanchard. They have been recruiting people for a little more than a month and around 16 women have signed up so far.

White said the group will offer a nice, safe and fun environment to learn all aspects about shooting.

“Our hope is to get women shooting more comfortably,” Blanchard said, adding members will improve their skills without being in a competitive environment. She hopes the group will help reduce the fear newcomers may have about guns.

The monthly meetings for the group will consist of one hour of classroom instruction covering such topics as conceal/carry laws, home defense, legal issues surrounding gun ownership, crime prevention and self defense, Pickering said. Following the classroom instruction, members will spend an hour on the shooting range.

The organizers don’t know the experience level of the members yet, but they will have several guns available during the event for women who are thinking about joining the chapter to try. White said that she is an National Rifle Association certified instructor.

The Well Armed Woman was formed last year by an entrepreneur and handgun instruction Carrie Lightfoot. Since that time, chapters have popped up throughout the United States. The Well Armed Woman strives “to educate, equip and empower women for self defense and to expand the world of firearms and to be the voice for women everywhere,” according to information posted on The Well Armed Woman website.

The organizers of the Whidbey Island chapter heard about The Well Armed Woman through relatives living in other states. In addition to the Whidbey Island chapter, other groups in Washington state are based in Snohomish County and Auburn, according to The Well Armed Woman website.

Pickering said it’s a coincidence that the group’s first meeting will take place on Mother’s Day. When organizing the group, they found that the second Sunday of the month is the best time they could get together.

The Central Whidbey Sportsman’s Association has previously offered several well-attended woman’s firearms safety courses.

Women interested in joining the Whidbey Island chapter have to be at least 21 years old. They also have to pay a $50 membership fee. Women attending their first meeting won’t have to pay the membership due. Members will also be responsible for paying any range fees and the costs for ammunition.

For more information about the Whidbey Island chapter of The Well Armed Woman, contact White at twawwhidbey@gmail.com, or call 360-914-4290.

 

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