Taking dead aim

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:52

    FRANKLIN-While Annie Oakley's legendary shooting skills weren't in danger of being upstaged by any of the 20-plus women who participated in a recent women and guns program, the western sharpshooter nevertheless would have been proud of their aim — to learn about guns and gun safety. The Franklin Revolver & Piston Club recently hosted a gun safety program geared for women at the club's firing range, nestled in the woods of Franklin Borough. The club, now in its 55th year of operation, opened its range to women interested in learning about firearms and firearm safety. The free session accommodated a group of women who were turned away from the organization's July class, due to full registration. "We do this as a community service," said the program's director, George Ambrose. "The club exists to promote safe firearms use in the community. People walk away from this class knowing how to handle firearms safely." Of the women in attendance, some claimed they were there because they wanted to address a personal fear of guns. Others just wanted to learn more about guns — what they're capable of and how to handle them safely. Still others admitted quite simply that they wanted to experience what it feels like to shoot a gun. The daylong session was comprised of class time where students were instructed on firearm equipment, including ammunition, use of front and back sights for aiming, shooter stance, and most important, gun safety in loading, handling and actual firing. After classroom instruction was complete, each student was teamed with a personal coach, who accompanied her on the firing range to ensure safety, instill confidence in the shooter, and answer any questions that might arise while in the firing range's "hot zone." The firearms used were .22-caliber revolvers. The guns and ammunition were the personal property of the volunteer coaches, all of whom are members of the Franklin Rifle & Revolver club.