Our network

Target And Tea | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Target And Tea

BOWIE, Md. (WUSA)--There's a new marketplace for women--the gun shop and firing range. Many dealers and gun clubs are catering to their female clientele through unique gun designs or special promotions. 9NEWS NOW found one local club that dedicates a Sunday to women through an event called Target and Tea.

They range in age from 13 to almost-90.  All of them with different experiences.

"I had a home invasion," says Norita Beaman of Mitchellville.  "It was 12 o'clock in the afternoon when two big men broke my door down. I thought, 'O-kay, it's time.  It's time to learn to protect myself."

"I thought it would be fun to beat my mom," says 13-year-old Heaven Stansbury, who drove from Pennsylvania with her parents and siblings to the Berwyn Rod and Gun Club in Bowie for a little healthy target shooting. 

Oh yea, and some tea and cakes too.  More on this part of the day later.

Just past 2 in the afternoon, the women line up with their weapon of choice.  Rifles shoot at a 50-yard range.  Pistols at 50-feet.

The number one message of the day is safety first.  It is more than a motto, it's the reason why many women are here this day.

"I'd rather have her know the proper handling," says Heaven's mother, Alicia Shields. 

As for Alicia, "I feel better knowing if ever the need comes up I can control it instead of being terrified of the gun and situation."

"My brother gave me my first rifle when I was 10-years-old," says Margaret Oppenheimer who will turn 90 in September.  In her pearls and pleated skirt, this former champ came straight from church to the Berwyn Rod and Gun Club's Target and Tea event. "Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition," said Oppenheimer with a chuckle.

MORE:  Women Taking AimAfter 2 hours of target competition, the ladies then make their way to the DAV Hall near the gun club.  It's here men become their servers..  The ladies are welcomed by classical music and gentlemen pouring them tea and serving cakes and sandwiches with the crusts cut off. 

The men, donned in white gloves and tuxedos, also reward the ladies on their shooting.

"It feels like you've accomplished something," says Barbara Hemstreet, one of the safety instructors on the range, before she takes a sip of tea.

The Target and Tea event is held once a year at the Berwyn Rod and Gun Club.  Usually the first Sunday after Mother's Day. 

Dave Ridgeway, with the Berwyn Rod and Gun Club says the club has over 400 members.  He tells 9NEWS NOW, ten years ago the club had hardly any female members.  Today he estimates they have over 50 active female members.