Austintown senior citizens practice firing at gun range

The Austintown Senior Center took a trip to the gun range to learn how to safely handle and fire a weapon.
The Austintown Senior Center took a trip to the gun range to learn how to safely handle and fire a weapon.

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Members of the Austintown Senior Center have a unique hobby that many wouldn’t expect.

They take trips to the American Indoor Shooting Range in North Jackson to practice their shooting.

Carol Ricker is one such member. She was joined by an instructor and six other women who are part of the Austintown Senior Center.

Photos: Austintown seniors visit gun range

It wasn’t just a day of fun at the gun range. These women say they are scared of guns and are conquering that fear. That is a big deal for them, but so is the education part, learning how to properly fire a gun.

“When you see a gun, you don’t want to panic,” Ricker said. “At least I have handled one. I have shot one.”

Jim Henshaw, executive director of the Austintown Senior Center, said the women weren’t trying to get a concealed carry license, but they were interested in learning more about how to use the guns.

“Some of them are widows that have guns at home that their husbands had that they didn’t know what to do with them. A couple of them approached me about whether to get rid of the guns or learn how to use them,” he said.

Henshaw said the goal is to get over the fear of the gun and to respect the weapon. He said one of the members was burglarized, and knowing how to use a weapon could have been helpful, should she have been at home.

Chach Day, National Rifle Association instructor, went over a safety lesson with the participants, which included body stances and how to hold a weapon before putting bullets in it.

“If you’re going to own a firearm, you should get some education on it for safety features, so accidents don’t happen,” Day said.

The women know they still have a lot to learn but say this is a good start.

“This makes me feel better that I at least have some idea what I’m doing,” Ricker said.

Henshaw says the gun lessons are open to any member of the Austintown Senior Center. They’ll meet on the second Monday of each month.

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