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PERSONAL SAFETY | FEATURE

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY: WILBUR SMOOTH

erryAnn Bowen never expected to be the co-owner of a firing range. She grew up in a selfdescribed anti-gun home and anti-gun community, and being involved with firearms was not on her radar. \That

all changed when she married a Marine. “We were able to really talk about our opinions and concerns and each of us educated the other,” she says. “We gradually met in the middle of the road.” Initially, Bowen’s husband worked in the firearms industry while she was employed as a secret shopper and helped others improve their businesses based on her feedback. When the opportunity came to buy an indoor public firing range, her husband urged her to be his partner, believing that her business acumen would be an asset. He also thought that she would be a great resource when it came to educating others about safe firearm ownership and introducing women to firearms. “At first, I thought he was crazy,” says Bowen. “But the more I thought about it, the

more I realized that, with my background, I brought a unique perspective to the business. I could really help create awareness about responsible gun ownership, and help women with selfdefense training.” Today, Manchester Firing Line in Manchester, New Hampshire, works with top law enforcement and military personnel to educate the public about safe and responsible gun ownership. The facility also offers free Intro to Gun Ownership seminars, and teaches women both selfdefense and defensive awareness classes. “Defensive awareness teaches women to be more aware of their situations and environments so that they can hopefully avoid needing to use self-defense,” explains Bowen. “When it comes to self-defense, we teach women that there are levels of defense, from hitting someone where it hurts, to using a Taser or Mace, and so on. The goal is to protect yourself, but to avoid escalation if you can safely do so.” Bowen is also committed to making sure that their business

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is actively engaged in the community. After losing her mother to breast cancer, and seeing her mother-in-law battle the disease, she made fundraising for breast cancer research an annual goal. “Boobs & Bullets” is a month-long campaign held every October to raise funds for local breast cancer support programs. The effort raises thousands each year through selling T-shirts, pink targets, and 50/50 raffles. The range also supports Harbor Homes, Toys for Tots, New Horizons and countless local charities and youth sports organizations. In addition, Bowen actively involves the range in boosting local businesses. They have launched a classic car cruise night, which runs Monday nights Memorial Day through Labor Day. Hundreds of people come to the range to see the cars, enjoy music and have fun. “This year, we are also adding a local food truck, which we think people will love,” says Bowen. “Hopefully, it will increase their business as well. We are always looking for ways to partner with the community and help out.” Running a gun range may not have been part of Bowen’s game plan, but she is grateful for the opportunities it has provided. “We have been able to use our company and resources to help a lot of people and we plan to grow that effort,” she says. “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished and excited to see what else we can do!”

Profile for New Hampshire Women Magazine

New Hampshire Women Magazine March 2019  

Check out our Lady Boss issue! Featuring local business rockstars who are giving advice for pursuing your dreams and making it all matter!

New Hampshire Women Magazine March 2019  

Check out our Lady Boss issue! Featuring local business rockstars who are giving advice for pursuing your dreams and making it all matter!

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