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Congress heard directly from women on the need to empower women by protecting Second Amendment rights in a hearing at the U.S. House of Representatives. The hearing gave voice to women, including domestic violence survivors, of how gun control measures often make it more burdensome for women to protect themselves, even as gun control proponents continue to tell these same women that the government and police will protect them.

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Federal Government Surveillance hosted the hearing titled, “Second Amendment Rights Empower Women’s Rights” to inform lawmakers of how gun control puts barriers in the way, or in some cases, robs women of the inherent right to self-defense. Witnesses told lawmakers of their survival stories from horrific spousal abuse. These women also explained that learning to become a responsible firearm owner not only provides them the means to protect themselves and their children while empowering them to determine their futures without fear.

“Female firearm ownership continues to grow in the United States,” said committee Chairman Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.). “Women are turning to themselves to be their own first responders.” He added that gun ownership among Black women is especially on the rise – by 87 percent according to NSSF 2021 data. “I commend these strong women, and all strong women, for stepping up to protect themselves and their families.”

Chairman Biggs noted that this increase is occurring while crime rates are still elevated and soft-on-crime policies, combined with prosecutors unwilling to apply the full strength of the law against criminals, is compelling many women to consider exercising their right to lawful firearm ownership.

“They fail to realize how more gun control only harms and impacts the vulnerable populations they claim they want to protect,” Chairman Biggs added.

The witnesses explained how life circumstances drove them to take ownership of their rights to keep and bear firearms to protect themselves and their loved ones. Some of their paths to firearm ownership began through awful abuse and threats to their lives. They shared that they were determined to never allow that experience to control them and now teach others, especially fellow women, how to lawfully and responsibly own firearms.

Geneva Solomon – Survivor, Trainer, Community Voice

Geneva Solomon brought her story of domestic abuse survival and empowerment through exercising Second Amendment rights to the committee hearing. She also added a much-needed perspective of how important Second Amendment rights are to the African American community and how misguided gun laws, like those in California where she owns and operates Redstone Firearms – the first Black-owned brick-and-mortar firearm retailer in the state – raise roadblocks to exercising Second Amendment rights.

“My journey from victim to survivor to advocate has led me to this moment today,” explained Solomon, who is an NSSF member and also a member of the National African American Gun Association (NAAGA). “As a Black woman, this is not a matter of imagination. It was my lived experience.”

Solomon said her path to healing and protecting herself and her family made her realize, “I had to become my own first responder.”

She researched and educated herself on responsible firearm ownership. She explained that firearm ownership gave her more than the physical means by which she could protect herself and her family but also “a profound sense of empowerment.”

She said training others to lawfully and responsibly own firearms has exposed her to others with similar and more disturbing stories than her own. She and her husband saw a gap in education for the Black community on gun ownership.

“This initiative has empowered thousands, if not tens of thousands, across California emphasizing that no one is coming to save you,” Solomon explained. “The reality is there’s a thirst for knowledge and empowerment and it’s happening in California big time.”

She said efforts to satisfy this demand are hampered by gun control laws that California lawmakers say will make them safer yet fail to deliver on that promise. She explained criminals don’t heed the law, yet California’s gun control means those purchasing a firearm must wait 10 days to take delivery.

“These rules disproportionately affect women, particularly Black women and will cost lives,” Solomon said. “Imagine having to wait 10 days, in fear of your life, wondering if your next moment will be your last.”

Beth Alcazar – Mother, Teacher, Protector

“First and foremost, I’m a mother and I have made a personal choice to live as a mom with a gun,” explained Beth Alcazar, an instructor with the U.S. Concealed Carry Association, author and magazine editor. “After all, I have three children who look to me as guide, coach, counselor and protector and my journey in and my dedication to firearms self-defense has all been motivated by them.”

Courtesy Beth Alcazar

Alcazar explained that firearm education is paramount but the education is more than mastering tasks and text. The self-defense lessons teach situational awareness, avoiding problematic scenarios, preparedness and how to live life “fiercely and safely every day.”

“For many women, this self-defense awakening has resulted in a new source of certainty, security, responsibility and equality that we might not otherwise had,” Alcazar added. “They refuse to stand by idle and helpless. They refuse to become someone’s victim. They refuse to allow harm to come to those that they love. That’s why I view the attempt to limit or criminalize law-abiding as anti-productive or dangerous, potentially carrying grave consequences for the safety of our families and our communities.”

Alcazar explained that violent criminals are a reality in communities across America. Her training changed her physically and emotionally, she said, preparing her with a mindset that she doesn’t have to wait on others to provide for her own protection.

“I am my own protector,” Alcazar told the Members of Congress. “And I am my family’s first and immediate responder.”

Shirley Watral – Survivor, Educator, Advocate

Shirley Watral is the State Director for Florida, Women for Gun Rights and is a domestic violence survivor. She testified of how her husband kidnapped and attacked her, threatening her life when he wielded a gun. She attempted to defend herself with that same firearm, only it failed to fire. She explained she survived the abusive attack only to learn that a restraining order didn’t block harassment and abuse.

Courtesy Shirley Watral

“This is what started my journey to firearms ownership,” Watral explained. “I realized I could protect myself. I could be my own first responder. Stop telling them [women] they’re not capable of handling a firearm. Stop scaring them with skewed statistics that only demoralizes them.”

Watral also noted the sharp increase of women purchasing firearms over the past several years. She said they’ve witnessed communities becoming less safe as crime rises, only to be betrayed by politicians that undermine and defund police while pushing gun control measures at the same time.

“People want to be able to protect themselves and those they love,” Watral added. “The difference between a safe sense of security and real security, for me, is my firearm. The Second Amendment is vital to me. It made a difference in my life and how I live each day.”

Congress Affirms Empowerment

Rep. Wesley Hunt (R-Texas) explained that empowering women to exercise their Second Amendment rights isn’t a liberal or conservative issue. It is a public safety issue and one that is decidedly important to women. He said policies to disarm police embolden criminals and make America’s cities less safe. It has driven this issue to the forefront where women are making an active choice to refuse to be victims.

“When public safety collapses, who bears the brunt of it?” Rep. Hunt asked. “It’s women and children. You see, the gun is the great equalizer against dangerous predators and oftentimes the last line of defense for women when it comes to protecting themselves and their children.”

Rep. Hunt also noted the 87 percent increase of Black women becoming firearm owners, the fastest-growing group in America.

Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas) didn’t mince words in his defense of all Americans being able to exercise their Second Amendment rights. He blamed the Biden administration for unending attacks on Second Amendment rights that deny women the empowerment of their Second Amendment rights.

Rep. Troy Nehls

“It’s dangerous. It’s unconstitutional and it does nothing to address crime,” said the former 30-year sheriff. “Criminals will still have guns long after law-abiding citizens don’t.”

Rep. Laurel Lee (R-Fla.) didn’t shy from her determined defense of Second Amendment rights.

“I will always fight to protect the Constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners,” Rep. Lee said. “And women who are trained to know how to properly own and safely shoot a firearm are not just gaining a tactical skill. A woman with a firearm who’s trained and understands how to use it has a line of defense against a home invader, a dangerous partner or just any random act of violence. Women across the nation have the ability to defend themselves, their children and their families when we empower women in self-defense. We all benefit.”

Chairman Biggs concluded by noting that prosecutors aren’t locking up criminals. Soft-on-crime policies are allowing criminals to roam the streets without consequence. He turned to Solomon to explain, once more, how the Second Amendment empowers women.

“I always tell people, ‘Do you know how long 90 seconds is?’” Solomon explained. “And 90 seconds is being generous when we talk about law enforcement responding. And we hear about how domestic violence is the most dangerous call. So, in those 90 seconds, if you don’t have a firearm when you do no want to fight one or two attackers as a woman, that is a very long time. Empowering yourself to be able to live and empowering your child, is a God-given right.”


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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  1. “the government and police will protect them.”

    I just spewed coffee all over my computer screen.

    • With the level of protection offered at the Pulse Nightclub and Uvalde school, I think it would be best to decline the protection and do it myself.

  2. How many of us grew up before the 911 system was created? Before EMTs and Paramedics, before GPS, even before spy satellites had mapped all of the earth’s surface? You were your own first responder, and pretty much everyone understood that. No matter the emergency, you KNEW that you didn’t have a phone in your pocket, and the cops would only arrive minutes, hours, or possibly days after you reached a telephone. Wild animal wreaking havoc among your livestock, or even your children? Deal with it, THEN call the cops. Breaking and entering? Ditto. Armed robbery? Yeah, you can go find a phone somewhere AFTER the robber leaves you.

    The 911 system has helped to nurture a couple generations of pansies and sissies who can’t fend for themselves. Couple 911 with the incessant brainwashing from the left, and we’re kinda screwed.

    • There are two things in this article I disagree with:

      1) While it’s certainly a good idea to train so that you know both your gun and your ability to use it, we must be careful not to place too much focus on “responsible ownership” as a requisite in our arguments. This gives ammo (pun intended) to the Left’s own support of BGCs, mandatory training, licensing, etc. The 2A tells Govt to keep their hands off our Natural right to defend ourselves from those who would harm or enslave us, and all American citizens are afforded this right regardless of training level.

      2) Which brings me to once again correct the use of the oft-misplace “African American”. If you were born in Africa, then you’re an African. If you emigrated to the U.S. and reside here, you’re still an African. If you become a citizen of the U.S.A., then you’re an African-born American, or in this case you may properly refer to yourself as an African American. Otherwise, if you were born in America or its territories and are a natural-born citizen, then you’re an American, regardless of the melanin content of your skin. To publicly identify yourself with a foreign nation/continent is suspect.

    • Paul, you still are your own “first responder”. When second count, police are minutes away.

  3. That’s right let’s belittle ourselves again by trying for the millionth time to reason with Gun Control democRats. Time to tell Gun Control democRats to go pound sand.

    • Yeah, that pretty much says it. Those people don’t give two squirts about any kind of debate or any other point of view. They don’t try and counter, they don’t consider what you say, that just completely ignore you because they’re 100% in bandage to their ideology. So to hell with em.

      • “Those people don’t give two squirts about any kind of debate or any other point of view.”

        A few dead women (or, othe Zeks) is just the price society has to pay, in order to prevent rampant killings, blood in the streets, wild west shootouts over minor disagreements, from becoming “the norm”.

        Anyone who doesn’t believe that a law that saves just one child is a necessity just doesn’t deserve to live among polite society.

        Guns bad. Orange Man bad. Self-defense bad.

        !Viva la revolucioni

        • Haha, couldn’t have said it better, and probably only half as well, Sam! Well mocked as always, Sir.

  4. Poll taxes and literacy tests to exercise a right? the sanger plan of genocide for poc? Keeping women helpless and under control? Who supports this and other evils?

    The fascist left and their minions like miner49er and dacian.

  5. So many women tend to vote Democrat yet most things that talk a big game being pro-women are nothing more than propaganda for the Democrat left. The entire feminist movement is primarily about forcing women in general to do the biding of the left (often against their own desires).

    They can’t even publicly say what a woman is in an effort to render females meaningless. They have already put the thought of toxic masculinity out there. The central idea is mainly to get everyone thinking they are worthless. It’s a major tenant in communist head games.

  6. Many liberal causes simply make the problems worse?
    Virtue signaling is easy when you have no skin in the game, look at our Sanctuary Cities response to actually getting illegals.

    • These cities think this will eventually cool off and they can turn to business as usual. They are not going to change their stripes. What they are all more likely to do is beg DC for more money to handle it. Dome are calling for border control but that really is just surface talk.

  7. Unfortunately, for the Democrat and RINO gun grabbers in attendance. This is just another example of: You shouldn’t try to teach a pig to sing…It wastes your time and annoys, the pig.

  8. Anyone else think these NSSF articles are written by AI? I’ve read product labels for Tide that have more humanity in them.

  9. I’ve been disparaging the waiting periods and their detrimental effect on women since they were 1st conceived by the demonicRats. I would truly like to know how many women are physically abused or killed after obtaining a restraining order, particularly in states where a handgun license requirement and/or a waiting period has been enacted. Such a statistic should be easily compiled but, of course, it would shatter the left’s agenda so none has been gathered and probably never will be.

  10. Which team of specialists did Congress bring in to determine the witnesses female status?

    I know they’ve had trouble figuring out which is which there in DC.

  11. The mission of the State is to replace the man in the family. Replace his guns with the guns of a big city police department. Replace his wisdom and knowledge that he would pass on to his wife and children. And instead give the women and children a “free” government housing apartment. And Government welfare checks.

    And then prosecute the woman if she decides to have a relationship with a man.

    Also, tell the women they can’t have a gun and should just call the police if they need help.

  12. This kid is far better than many of the usual suspects doing gun adverts…….
    I’m convinced whe not only is having a lot of fun, she KNOWS her stuff. SHe us VERY comfortabe around the guns and the range. I’ve seen “grown men” not half as comoetent as she is. What’s she gonna be like in ten more years?

    • “What’s she gonna be like in ten more years?”

      A strong confident self-reliant woman taking responsibility for her life and safety and security, someone who realizes the reality that no one is coming to save her or her family or others in their imminent moment of defense need and she needs to be ready and prepared, someone bad guys will wish they never encountered.

  13. I bet the democrats wish Dylan Mulvaney would have testified, since we are talking “women” here. Bud Lights all around! I’m surprised it wasn’t invited.

  14. Here are some things to think about as an argument against delays in picking up your firearm once you have purchased it (ie: in Colorado there is a now a 3 day waiting period between your passed background check and your ability to pick up your firearm and take it home).
    If you own even one firearm what makes anyone think that if you are a crazy and plan to shoot people indiscriminately that waiting any specified period of time is going to cool you off. We know several things for sure about these mass shooters and many of these people
    have already been known to police or school officials or their places of work, many plan well in advance what they are going to do and some even write manifestos regarding their intended crimes, and many don’t even know the people they are trying to kill.
    So if you own a number of firearms and are one of these folks and decide you are going to simply go out and shoot people how is a waiting period going to stop you if you decide to buy an additional firearm.
    Also, if you are a law abiding citizen and have purchased a number of firearms and then decide to buy another and you pass the background check perhaps after buying one or more guns you should be exempt from and future delays. In reality there should be no waiting period at all.
    As has been suggested many times before most of these laws have no impact on criminals or mentally disturbed people because they can obtain firearms outside the law. Additionally, many of these people are ignored by law enforcement and people who know they have serious issues. Detection and follow-up on people with mental and emotional issues would be a far better alternative. Additionally, if the FBI would do its job and enforce the law regarding lying on your NICS application for a firearm background check instead of simply denying the applicant a firearm that would solve a great may problems as well and send a powerful message to those who try to cheat on their applications. Most importantly instead of pestering law abiding gun owners how about use that time and resources to track down the criminals. If we can let unvetted drug dealers, human traffickers and other unvetted and unvaccinated people into the Country why are we spending so much time on law abiding American Citizens except to simply disarm them so the Government can have absolute power over them.

  15. Very impressed with her gun handling skills and safety! She has changed my opinion and faith in some young people. America winning!

  16. @ChoseDeath
    “Well mocked as always, Sir.”

    Happy to be here; grateful for the opportunity; proud to serve.

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