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It is not my usual practice to spread negative information about any person, club or organization.  But, today I make an exception.  Since relocating to the Port Orchard area, my husband and I have been scouting prospective shooting facilities in the area.  My husband, (Vietnam Vet), enjoys long range rifle shooting, and it requires an outdoor facility.  In my usual way, I first went to Google to find ranges in the area.  Gig Harbor Sportsman Club is the closest to our location.  Shooting at an outdoor range can be very enjoyable, in good weather.  As I currently teach women’s classes, I thought there might also be a chance to offer some classes at their facility as well.  Many women from the area have asked if I offer anything on “this side of the bridge”, (Tacoma Narrows).  The answer is always the same, “No, I don’t access to a range.”

Living in the outskirts of Port Orchard is beautiful and peaceful.  And, there is no cell phone reception.  So most of my communication with the outside world is through email.

I contacted the Gig Harbor Sportsman Club, by email, and requested information about their membership and facility.  I explained that my husband and I enjoyed shooting as a sport, and that my husband was a Vietnam Vet.  Often clubs will honor the vets with discounts.  I was honest and up front about my interest to offer women’s classes.  I had been warned in advance by a couple of friends that this club was run by a group of “Good ole boys”.  Nothing new, really, in the gun community.

The following is the first response to my request, and I quote:
“The Gig Harbor Sportsman’s Club has very stringent protocol and qualifications as to who is able to use the facility for teaching firearms related classes.”  No other rhetoric.  Nothing was mentioned about us joining the club.  I responded by saying I was glad they are so safety conscious, and asked if I might be told what those protocols and qualifications were.

The following is the 2nd response to my request, and I quote:

“I might be easiest to discuss things in person with myself and our vice president so that we can answer any questions about the facility and teaching requirements.  Feel free to give me a call at 253-851-4233 to set up  time.  I use the answering machine to screen calls, so if I do not pick up right away, just leave message  and I will get back to you ASAP.”
I waited for some time before responding.  Keep in mind I have no phone service. (Just as well.)  And after some thought replied asking for an appointment to come and see the facility and discuss teaching requirements.
The following is the the 3rd response to my request for an appointment, and I quote:
“Unfortunately the Club is restricting any training to certified member instructors only.  Their classes must meet a list of criteria imposed by both the board and city.  So at this time we will not be able to meet your needs for use of our facility.”
Being the analytical person that I am, I researched their website, reviewed their bylaws, and their last meeting minutes.  The minutes included the request to allow an outside group to come in and teach basic firearms classes.  (not my group).
One last quote copied and pasted from their website:

Mission Statement  “To provide a facility and organization that safely, enjoyably, and economically allows our members, guests, and our community to participate in the shooting sports and fellowship of the Club.”

I guess a woman shooter and her husband who is a veteran of the Vietnam war does not deserve the same treatment as everyone else in the community.  This kind of attitude is exactly why I teach women only classes.

*This experience has prompted me to not only write this post, but create a new category titled “Not Women Friendly”.

Gig Harbor UnSportsmanlike Club – Don’t go there.

I shoot like a girl