Girls that pack some heat

In Angela Vinet, Cat Salley, Louisiana Ladies by Lola Magazine

Ladies are channeling their inner firepower in unprecedented numbers – the future of firearms has the ladies leading the pack.

Ladies, it’s time to lock and load – your future is calling and it involves firearms. The shooting range is no longer just a boys’ club. The ladies are taking over and finding they’re often a better shot than their men. Not only can we birth children, whip up a feast to feed many, and twirl in high-heels, but we also seem know our way around a firearm. Lola Ladies, the hottest new thing in town is shooting. Whether for skill or safety, it’s past time for the ladies to get involved in the shooting sports industry, which is just what Ashlee and Brad Simon have been planning for – the ladies.

Red River Range is a large Sportsman’s Paradise to be sure, but it’s really more like an entertainment destination. A one- stop-shop type of a place offering several shooting galleries, gun rentals, an event center, swanky lounge and fully stocked fishing pond. Come Spring, the green space outdoors will become the first the archery range in our area with nice picnic tables to enjoy while watching arrows fly and fish flail. Hello perfect date night, because you can even sip after you shoot. Like all good stories, this one begins with an idea for a shooting range by Army veteran and Shreveport native Brad Simon. Wanting to fill a void in Shreveport, which lacked shooting options with the closest places to shoot a distant car ride, Brad began the long process of bringing his dream to reality – almost 10 years in the making.

After traveling America from Kentucky to Colorado, Brad and Ashlee took notes, spoke face-to-face with shooting gallery owners, and saw firsthand the shooting clubs other states offered. Brad knew he wanted to build an upscale shooting club. He also knew he wanted to cater to the female demographic with our market prime for such a facility. His idea evolved from an outdoor range into an upscale facility, one that would bring the ladies.

What Brad was able to build is a beautiful, state-of-the- art facility where men and women can not only learn how to become proficient with firearms, but also continue their training, as shooting is a perishable skill meaning it must be continually practiced to maintain accuracy.

Offering a range of classes from the ever popular Conceal & Carry or Hunter’s Safety course to more specialized challenges and firearm maintenance classes, Red River Range has it all for every level of gun enthusiast from beginners to professionals.

Open to the public, visitors can rent different firearms to test their target skills, or pay a range fee to sight and shoot their weapon. Many are finding the perks of membership to be of great benefit since these marksmen continue to fine tune their skill often stopping by either on lunch break or after work. The range even offers a gunsmith on site to help with any mechanical issues or cleaning questions.

Both Brad and Ashlee are passionate about women in firearms. Ashlee is just as much the gun enthusiast as Brad. She’s obtaining her instructor license to lead classes for other women about firearms. Statistically, women have become the fastest growing demographic of shooters. More girls are hunting, more girls are in shooting sports and more girls are taking the conceal carry classes than ever before, according to the National Rifle Association website.

Even shooting accessories can come catered to women with custom tactical yoga pants for the conceal, leopard print gun boxes, or my personal favorite – a Robin’s egg blue gun.

When asked why ladies need to be familiar with firearms, Ashlee answered, “I want to empower women to become confident and knowledgeable using a gun, it’s just a tool to learn how to use.” She explained that she’s a recreational shooter with short range targets being her favorite, but truly wants to be able to protect her family should the need arise.

There have been two times in her life she was afraid. Owning a gun has given her the confidence to know she can do something about the powerless feeling she had during those scary moments.

Ashlee’s wish is to empower women to no longer be a damsel in distress, no longer be leery of walking down a dark street unescorted. The instructors at the Red River Range are seeing the women flock to firearms with wishes to provide their own protection, and they are thrilled. It’s no secret that Shreveport has seen its fair share of violent crime. Sadly, we live in a world where sex trafficking is on our doorstep along the I-20 corridor, and thanks to social media, we all know the moment bullets are flying around town. It’s easy to feel unsafe in a world such as this. Owner Brad Simon says it best, “I’d rather a women know how to use a gun and not need to, than need to use a gun and not know how.”

So, ladies, when it comes to firearms, know that training never ends and knowledge is power. If you’ve ever had an interest in firearms for fun or safety, Red River Range offers a knowledgeable staff, safe environment to test your skills or learn a new one, and gives a heck of an adrenaline rush when shooting an HK-MP5 submachine gun – trust me, I know.

WHY THE RANGE IS HANDY
• Target practice
• Sight rifles
• Get ready for hunting season
• Conceal & Carry class
taught in a classroom
• Comprehensive list of
instructional courses
• Highly trained staff with
decades of experience
• Gunsmith on site
• Plenty of galleries to shoot from
• Conveniently located in town

WHY LEARN TO SHOOT?
• Take safety into your own hands
• Personal defense
• It’s quite the adrenaline rush
• Women’s shooting sports
is the new thing
• Ladies who hunt need practice too
• Refusing to be a victim
• Bearing arms is a constitutional right
by way of the 2nd amendment

THE FUTURE
• Shoot and Sips
• Ladies Introductory Firearms
with cooking class
• April 20 – Flowers and Firepower:
flower arranging classes and
introduction to firearms
• Refuse to be the Victim Class: non-
shooting about situational awareness
• Breakfast and Bullets
• First Aid Class
• Personal Protection Outside the Home
• Personal Protection Inside the Home

POSSIBILITIES
• Bachelor Parties
• Girl Nights
• Date Nights
• Corporate Events
• Family Reunions
• Veteran Groups