NRA's Women on Target: Bonner County's Success Story

Here's how one Idaho gun club has been empowering women with NRA's help!

posted on June 5, 2024
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In the town of Sandpoint, Idaho lies a remarkable group of individuals who are making a significant impact on their community. The Bonner County Sportsmen's Association (BCSA) is not your average gun club – it's a tight-knit community dedicated to promoting firearm safety and education, particularly among women.

Several years ago, BCSA started an NRA Women on Target (WOT) Program for handguns at their indoor range. What began as a modest initiative has blossomed into an impressive success story, with one WOT class held every month during the winter months. The WOT classes are being solely promoted through word of mouth and are at full capacity each session. 

The WOT Program at BCSA offers 12 women a session of top-notch training in gun safety and the fundamentals of marksmanship and pistol shooting. Thanks to the support of many Range Safety Officers (RSOs) and instructors, as well as generous grants from the NRA Foundation the cost of the program remains low, making it accessible.

But the success of the WOT Program didn't stop there. Inspired by the enthusiasm of their students, the team at BCSA decided to take their training to the next level by combining the WOT Program with the NRA America's Rifle Challenge (ARC). This innovative approach not only expanded the scope of their training, but also introduced women to the world of rifle shooting in a safe and supportive environment. This is the first time Women on Target and NRA America’s Rifle Challenge have combined forces.

To make this event happen, BCSA secured a grant from The NRA Foundation for Smith & Wesson MP15/22 AR rifles and red dot sights. These rifles, designed to shoot .22 LR rounds, were perfect for the 50-foot indoor range, allowing for realistic training scenarios.

Before opening the training to students, the RSOs conducted a thorough dress rehearsal to iron out any logistical challenges. Once everything was in place, they held their first WOT-ARC class – and it was a great success. The women who participated walked away with newfound confidence and skills.

The success of the WOT-ARC program is a testament to the dedication and passion of the team at Bonner County Sportsmen's Association, as well as the growing interest among women in firearm training. By providing accessible, high-quality instruction, they are empowering women to become confident and proficient shooters, breaking down barriers and stereotypes in the process.

Want to know more about Women on Target and NRA's America's Rifle Challenge? Click here and here


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