Guns and Grace promotes and builds firearm confidence with live fire training
"There’s a lot of women who have a fear of firearms and we help them overcome those, step by step,” says Alanna Tomjack.
BELFIELD, N.D. — Local National Rifle Association certified weapons instructor Alanna Tomjack runs an area business called Guns and Grace. The mission for Tomjack is to help some women overcome their fears of firearms by training them to become more proficient and comfortable with firearms.
“We’re women who teach other women how to shoot — the fundamentals and on up from there. There’s a lot of women who have a fear of firearms and we help them overcome those, step by step,” she said. “With them learning safety and handling, it helps them build that knowledge. So then they’ll be able to teach their kids safety too.”
Tomjack said her upbringing, with a father who was in the U.S. Army, provided her with a strong respect and foundation for helping women defend themselves.
“I grew up around firearms. My dad was a veteran and he taught us how to shoot from the time we were little girls,” she said. “He wanted his girls to be able to protect themselves from the time they left home.”
Prompted to start the business and training program, Tomjack said the decision was made after a string of incidents left some area women feeling threatened.
“There was an incident several years back of some guy going around Dunn County. It was a door-to-door thing and he pushed his way into a couple of them. And I’d heard about it from several of the women who were at home,” she said. “That just kind of got me thinking like, we should really have a safe place for women to learn. And there wasn’t really anyone around to teach them.”
According to Tomjack, she didn’t feel entirely qualified to do the instruction herself, but after some research she made the decision to take instructor courses through the NRA. This genesis would grow to become a new business venture called Guns and Grace.
“So I was like, let’s get it started. And God opened doors for me to make it happen,” she said.
The Pew Research Center released a report in 2017 that highlighted a national growth of over 70% in female gun ownership. Today, it is estimated that over 30% of women in the US own a gun. Tomjack said she feels strongly about protecting the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
“Our Second Amendment protects our First Amendment,” she said.
She pointed to a proposal by Virginia Democratic Congressman Don Beyer to impose a 1,000% excise tax on certain semi-automatic weapons and all ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds as a violation of constitutionally guarded freedom. She argued this would only hurt the most vulnerable among us.
“People with a lower budget, they’re not going to be able to afford that. So it could really hamper their ability to defend their home,” Tomjack said.
Guns and Grace offers instruction and training sessions for women of all skill levels at sportsman’s clubs around North Dakota, including in Belfield, Watford City and Zap. In Belfield, courses are offered on the second Tuesday of each month, with the next one scheduled for June 14.
The program includes an introduction to handguns at 3:30 p.m. for $65, and the advanced defensive drills course at 6 p.m. for $20. G&G is helping the Belfield Sportsman's Club promote its ladies only shooting nights will be held June 16, July 13 and August 17 from 5 p.m. to dusk with a wide selection of firearms provided.
According to the Guns and Grace website , “The range provides the ammo and there is no charge for ladies night. It also gives the community a chance to meet us and ask about our training opportunities. Even if you will never carry a firearm, it’s still a really fun evening that will make the men in your life jealous.”
Guns and Grace also offers North Dakota concealed carry certification and hosts training sessions for small groups. For information or to register for a course, contact Tomjack at 701-690-9149.