One of the women’s shooting events that is part of the NRA’s Women on Target (WOT) program occurs in the country’s heartland, where the Oklahoma City (OKC) Gun Club has been hosting such an event for what will be 19 years this September. Besides being one of the first clubs to sign on for the WOT program, it’s by far the biggest, in terms of sheer draw.
Mark Vaughan, the armed citizen who stopped the 2014 beheading attack at a food plant in Moore, Okla., participates as a shotgun instructor during part of the event.
One reason for the program’s success can be attributed to Suzi Rouse, president of the gun club and the woman who runs the event. She and other women founded a women’s division at the OKC Gun Club. That was a time when the WOT program was just going national, according to Diane Danielson, the WOT instructional shooting clinics coordinator at the NRA, and the Oklahoma City woman’s event was folded into it. Under Rouse’s guidance, the program “runs like clockwork,” Danielson said, adding that the volunteers who staff the event know what they’re doing and no one ever misses a beat in terms of managing the logistics behind the event.
Rouse broke into the OKC Gun Club at a time when it was a “good ol’ boys club,” especially when it came to shooting cowboy action like she did. Later, she started shooting rifles from a bench rest and bonded with some of the club’s directors. Not long after, the directors realized they needed to establish a higher-visibility woman’s shooting program, and by partnering with the WOT, Rouse took it to a higher level.
The event has grown with each passing year, maxing out at close to 600 participants in recent years, so if you’re interested in participating, it’s not too early to send in your application.
“Everyone has a great time and we have several groups of women that return year after year,” said Vaughan, a shooting instructor for 17 years. “The premise behind the event is to have fun, just basic safety and familiarization is all that’s discussed—these gals are there to shoot!”
Rouse gets some funding from the NRA, but she also has a network of local sponsors who make donations that support the shooters and the event.
To apply for a spot at the 19th Annual Women on Target Instructional Clinic, to be held Sept. 8 in Oklahoma City, go here. Spots go quickly on a first-come, first-served basis, and open registration closes at the end of this month, Rouse said.