I took the First Steps Pistol class today – the basic 101 class. The class was four hours long and only the last hour or so was actually handling the gun and shooting it. There was a great overview of the absolute basics of a gun, proper safety, storage and legal transportation (a VERY important part living in New Jersey).

There were five of us in the course and I was the only woman. I was treated with respect and care, but wasn’t treated like one of the guys – I made it clear I needed more help and I received it with no judgment from the instructor or my classmates (most of whom were there because they were trying to become law enforcement officers).

In the very beginning of the course it came up with my very kind instructor (Sandy) that I’m a breastfeeding mother. I spoke with Jimmy (the main instructor) about it and they went out of their way to make it safe and possible for me to shoot. They brought me into an empty range after it had been cleaned and ventilated. They made sure to clean the guns I used with special wipes to get all of the lead off (which is the concern for breastfeeding moms). They brought me into the range before my classmates to minimize my exposure and gave me special no-lead bullets. I wanted to bring casings home as a souvenir but was nervous to do so because of the lead residue, so Jimmy grabbed two when I wasn’t looking, had them specially cleaned, and gave them to me afterwards. I so appreciated how they went out of their way to make it possible for me to safely shoot, and that they knew that I needed to be careful and how to keep me (and my nursing baby) safe from lead exposure.

The whole place was really nice, clean, professional as all else, and fun. I hope to make it back for more courses and shooting. Great staff and a great first experience.

Bethany Shondark Mandel – 5 Stars