LAURENS CO. — There are many classes available to teach people about how to safely fire a gun, but one in Laurens County caters specifically to women.
Tori Branum says she would turn on the news and see women being victims of crimes, so she decided to take her talent with firearms and teach.
“It's one at a time and if you listen, you'll get a lot out of what I'm telling the person that's up there,” she said.
Branum offers a firearm safety course in Laurens County, but she’s only interested in teaching certain students – women.
She became experienced with guns when she enlisted as a Marine at 19. She says at first, firearms were a little intimidating.
“I almost cried, I was so scared because I had never touched a gun, so I applied,” Branum said.
Applying everything she learned, she became one of the best shooters in her class.
“I just ended up shooting expert for five years in a row on the range,” she said.
During her eight years of service, she became a primary marksmanship instructor in Japan, making sure other Marines were using their weapons safely.
Now, she’s opened a shooting range in her backyard so women like Melissa Calhoun and Jennifer Eiland can run through the basics of shooting.
“I would feel a lot more comfortable having a gun [and] hopefully never having to use it,” said Calhoun.
“I wanted to feel safe and comfortable around guns, particularly handguns, [and] I would like to own one myself,” said Eiland.
Branum hopes that feeling of comfort grows into confidence.
“Like they can protect themselves and when their husbands are gone, they feel safe like they can protect their kids,” she said.
If you’re a woman and want to sign up for the class, you can do so on Facebook.
Branum says the classes have been doing so well that she’s on the market for a bigger piece of property so she can expand her shooting range.