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Shooting club takes aim at empowering Black women
Arming for awareness and protection
Published Sunday, July 19, 2020 6:27 pm
by Freda Freeman | The Triangle Tribune

Joy Allen, co-founder of InHER Piece Ladies Shooting Club, demonstrates a pistol at a recent session in Raleigh.

RALEIGH – Defending yourself is not only knowing how to use a weapon. It’s the confidence and belief you are worth defending.

Two Raleigh women have joined forces and founded InHER Piece Ladies Shooting Club to empower African American women through firearms training. The club’s motto is “Peace of mind, one round at a time!”

“We want women to have confidence, knowing that, if you need to, you can defend yourself. When I first started teaching classes, I always asked the ladies to raise their hand if they were willing to kill for one of their children, and 99% of the ladies would raise their hand. But when you ask a woman, ‘would you be willing to kill someone else to save your life,’ they hesitate. “Women, particularly women of color, have always been taught and were raised in society to defend and to nurture everyone else. So, I found that through teaching firearms, we’re not only teaching self-defense, but we’re really teaching confidence,” said Joy Allen.

Allen is the owner of E3 (empowering, educating, and enjoying) Personal Defense and Safety along with Ebony Hartsfield-Thorne, owner of GuzNBlackRosez Firearms Training. Both women started shooting about five years ago, and each is a certified National Rifle Association pistol instructor.

According to the National African American Gun Association, about 19% of African Americans nationwide own firearms, and single black women are one of the fastest growing demographic groups in the black community who are buying guns for protection. The National Shooting Sports Foundation reports a 77% increase in female gun ownership since 2005.

Hartsfield-Thorne said women should be armed and ready to protect themselves and their families, if needed.

“I feel all women should be armed, but, for Black women, I take it very personally because I am one myself and I’m raising one. We face discrimination for race and gender on a daily basis, and I just want to make sure they are armed with knowledge and awareness,” she said.

Allen started shooting as a hobby in 2015 after taking a class with Chris Tilley, a Winston-Salem native who’s a U.S. Practical Shooting Association grand master and a former competitor on the History Channel’s “Top Shot” marksman competition. She continued to develop her skill and became a certified instructor. Allen and her husband, Chris, who are both pastors, initially partnered with churches and nonprofit organizations to bring basic gun training to communities where people generally would not be able to afford it.

Generally, the starting price for a basic training course is $120.

“I started the company because as I was shooting at ranges and going to meetings and classes, there was never anyone who looked like me, never any other females, never any other African Americans,” Allen said.

Although more women are buying guns, Allen said very few shooting clubs cater to minority women. “What I hope is for women to come together and see themselves represented,” she said. “I preach all the time that representation matters.”

If we look through history, the reason people feel that they are subpar and that someone is superior is because that’s what they see,” she said.

Hartsfield-Thorne hopes the club will help women view firearms positively and, in turn, help others see women as skilled gun owners. “I hope it becomes a safe haven for women to come and feel comfortable,” she said. “I see it firsthand being in the gun world, men feel women don't have the proper knowledge when it comes to firearms. I hope this group will show women and firearms in a positive light, not negative.”

The shooting club, which is open to everyone and all experience levels, meets on the second Sunday of each month for safety seminars, range activities, and community outings at Eagle 1 Supply, a Black-owned firearms supply store and firing range in Raleigh. Eagle 1 Supply is also the home base for NAAGA-Triangle Chapter. The cost is $20 per meeting, which covers range fees and meeting materials.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own firearms; however, gun rentals are available. Ammunition can be purchased at the range.


Sadly, although they say they are open to everyone.. this group is clearly focused on RACE, particularly empowering and educating Black women on gun defense, ownership etc & by default that clear eyed BIASED focus on "BLACK women" immediately discriminates against White or any other RACE of females that may want to learn & be apart of such a shooting club & as a White women who would want to join & partake in such a necessary FEMALE LEAD & OPERATED shooting & educational club but because of their self described aim & focus, I immediately feel I do NOT BELONG & AM NOT WELCOMED, just because I am White & do NOT have the "right" SKIN COLOR to join & would not be the "focus" even if I was allowed to join because I am White & not Black.... this is why we should not do things on the basis of RACE (or Gender, Disability, Age, Religion, Ethnicity, ETC that DIVIDES & DISCRIMINATES AGAINST THOSE WHO DONT QUALIFY) and this is exactly WHY we should NOT do things with QUALIFIERS that can discriminate... I mean I know it's a female shooting club & that is a qualifier of gender but hopefully they wouldn't turn down a male, but I understand the need for a female shooting club because there are many women who either can't join the male clubs or who would feel more comfortable around other females BUT when you say your focus is to empower " Black women" now you've made it about RACE & immediately make the White, Asian, Latina, Indian, Arabic or many MIXED RACE females that are NOT "Black women" feel like they are not welcomed & not important & good enough to belong to/join or benefit from this group because they don't have the correct SKIN COLOR... the very thing MLK did not want people to be judged by or to be used as to whether or not we get service at a business or are gonna be the focus of a shooting club... JUST IMAGINE the outrage if you all came across an ad for an all female shooting club that is aimed at empowering White women on gun use & skills etc!!!!!!???? EVERY last Black person that got wind of this would be calling me a RACIST & targeting me with calls, online attention, protesting to shut my group down & getting the local news to cover it as RACISM, EVEN IF I let anyone join but had the words empowering "WHITE women" they would TEAR me down & forever try to ruin my reputation calling me a RACIST... so then WHY is it okay for another RACE, particularly African Americans/Blacks to commit the very same DISCRIMINATORY & EXPLICITLY BIASED (The worst type aka intentional) practices & language that THEY DONT WANT USED AGAINST & TOWARD THEM SOLELY BECAUSE OF TNEIR SKIN COLOR????? It's not right to do the very same HYPOCRITICAL THING that their RACE doesn't want done to them!!??? It doesn't make any sense & most importantly it's HURTFUL & DIVISIVE & makes people feel like an other & less than... white women or other races of women feel they don't belong & SHOULD NOT even think about trying to join & that is the definition of RACISM and it's wrong in this case to set out to empower "black" women & if you're not Black you're not worth empowering & that's the RACISM & DISCRIMINATION MLK & the civil rights era fought AGAINST and wanted to eliminate RACE AS A QUALIFIER and folks should be outraged at this like I am because as I said, if I had a group to empower "white" women I would be labeled public RACIST enemy # 1 who is trying to keep WHITES as superior etc etc etc, so where is the equal outrage HERE????? And the fact that the Charlotte Post who highlighted this group and brought this article about didn't speak up & ask these UPFRONT questions of BIAS & DISCRIMINATION, shows that they are not a stand up, legimate, unbiased, serious, non-discriminate JOURNALIST ORGANIZATION that upholds the SJC's journalistic CODE OF ETHICS!!!!!
Posted on June 8, 2021
I would like guidance in purchasing and getting license for my very first gun! I live in Nyc, which I know u can only have a gun for home invaders!
Posted on March 27, 2021
Anyone interested in learning more should visit www.inherpiece.com.
Posted on February 10, 2021
How do I sign up
Posted on February 6, 2021
Hunters and target shooters are a community of passionate, dedicated individuals who spend hours pursuing their favorite pastimes. Many of them are also committed conservationists.
Posted on August 20, 2020
Thank you so much Joy for your dedication to the women who love the Shooting Sport! I am one!
Posted on July 21, 2020

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