Gallatin County women are packin’ heat

By DEZRI ROCHIN/Montana State News

Thirty percent of the 564 people applying for a concealed weapon permit in Gallatin County last year were women. That number is increasing every year, according to Shanon Shoemacher of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Department.

According to firearms safety officer for Gallatin County, Hank Hecker, “Most of the women are between 18 and 30 years of age with the majority being single mothers. And then there are elderly women who want to protect themselves from predators.”

Hecker added that, “Most women feel that it is their constitutional right to bear arms and apply for their permits.”

For the past seven years the National Rifle Association and the Logan Gun Range have sponsored the Women on Target program. The program is intended for women to learn gun safety, handling and marksmanship. The next event is scheduled for May 19, at the Logan Gun Range.

“Women on Target is good because women are teaching women. There are no macho guys swaggering around in military uniforms telling women what to do,” says Hecker

According to John Cushman, President of the Sportsmen’s Association for Firearm Safety, “Women will represent the more rational part of the debate [over the right to bear arms] and will be able to persuade legislators that this is something that is good, reasonable and is an act of self defense especially for women.”

Hecker suggests that a husband can’t teach a wife to fish and the same goes for marksmanship, which is why Women on Target was established in 2004. To learn more about Women on Target, visit their website at

Edited by David Hoy.

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