Women take aim at Sippican Rod & Gun Club’s firearm clinic

By Matthew Bernat | Sep 10, 2017
Photo by: Matthew Bernat Kate Hill of Marion practices her target shooting on Saturday.

When it comes to taking up the sport of shooting, a popular firearm clinic at the Sippican Rod & Gun Club has women right on target.

On Saturday, the club hosted its fourth Women on Target program. The all-day, National Rifle Association-sponsored program offers women a primer on gun safety, hands-on training and qualifies participants to apply for a License to Carry or Firearms Identity Card.

“We wanted to ensure women have equal opportunity to learn how to shoot, which has traditionally been seen as a men’s sport,” said Bill Fredericks. “This is the best way to introduce them to shooting.”

Fredericks, a Mattapoisett resident, is a club member who has organized the event for the past four years. He noted that women are the fastest growing demographic in shooting sports.

Local interest in Women on Target bears that out, Fredericks said. He noted the program has been at capacity whenever it’s offered. Recently, there’s been a waiting list of at least 40 women the past few years.

Twenty-four women participated on Saturday, 10 of whom were from Wareham. The clinic started with a morning session led by Jon Green, director of the NRA’s Gun Owners’ Action League in Massachusetts. It covered state firearm laws and the importance of responsible gun ownership.

In the afternoon, participants hit the range to practice with rifles, shotguns and pistols after learning the basics. Wearing safety glasses and ear protection, they spent four hours training.

At 17, Stephanie Hathaway of Rochester was the youngest women to ever take the local course. A bow hunter, Hathaway signed up so she could get her License to Carry.

“This whole day has been really fun,” she said. “You end up learning so much.”

Another Rochester resident, Katelyn Weigel, already has her License to Carry. She signed up because she loves the sport of shooting and wanted to practice her rifle skills before joining her family on hunting trips.

Jessica Roy of Wareham said she wanted to start hunting turkeys. She signed up after a friend of hers who took it previously recommended Women on Target.

“It’s been very educational,” said Roy. “The morning session could have lasted all day it was so interesting, but it’s great being out here on the range, too.”

Comments (1)
Posted by: Spherebreaker | Sep 12, 2017 15:31

Amazing that no was killed being around that many guns. Looks like there was even sporting rifles, the most blood thirsty of them all. I don't know who was in charge but they did a great job keeping those guns from attacking people.

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