Instructor Jim Gregg, a police officer since 1998 and a firearms instructor with the Pennsylvania State Police since 2006, initiated the Armed Women Attacker Response Education program ( A.W.A.R.E. ) last year. The class teaches first-firearm ownership — beginning with the very basics for women who have never picked up a gun — then covers safety, principles of marksmanship, basic self-defense and use of pepper spray.

Linda Thomas, of 54 years of age after attending the women’s self-defense class was no longer afraid of firearms. “By the end of the day, she was one hot mama and was operating her gun very well,” she said.


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