This article first appeared in Texas Lifestyle Magazine on August 22, 2019.
Julianna Crowder is a dreamer, teacher and community leader.
Crowder spent much of her life surrounded by firearms, but it wasn’t until 2004 when her interest in competitive action shooting, hunting and self-defense was piqued.
In 2011, Crowder established A Girl & A Gun, a membership organization empowering women to take personal responsibility for their safety by learning proper handling and use of firearms. Houston, San Antonio and Amarillo chapters hopped on board and, shortly after celebrating its one-year anniversary, A Girl & A Gun was a nationwide organization with 150 chapters in 48 states and continues to grow.
As founder, Crowder continues to share the mission of A Girl & A Gun and is a passionate speaker on women as gun owners, concealed carry laws and Second Amendment legislation. She has been featured on The Blaze, Huckabee, Cam and Co. on NRA News, and was Ms. September in the 2012 Bond Arms “Fight Like A Girl” charity calendar.
Crowder is a Certified NRA Instructor, Rangemaster Level 1, Certified License to Carry Instructor for the State of Texas, and has served on the national NRA Education Committee.
Why did you start A Girl & A Gun?
I had a very successful firearms training company in Austin and Killeen, but my clients were mostly men, with the women being dragged along. I wanted to see more women coming to my classes because they wanted to be there and understood the importance of the information I was offering them. Also, I was always the only chick on the range with my husband and our friends for fun shooting events.
In what ways does the organization support women?
For some, we’re a social circle of like-minded women and, for others, we’re that first step towards empowerment and independence. Our primary goals are to create safe shooters and educated consumers. We want women to experience all aspects of firearms, from the seriousness of training and self defense to the fun side of recreational and competitive shooting sports.
What advice do you have about shooting?
Do what works for you! There are various methods and techniques and there is definitely a right and wrong way with all things to do with marksmanship in relation to safety. But the best advice is to take what works for you and ditch what doesn’t. We are all different and have to adapt to limitations.
Are your memberships exclusive to women?
We actually have men as members! There are times when we have youth members that need a parent/guardian to bring them to events and Dad is it. The guys are always happy to stand back and let us do our thing; they know the girl time is very important to the process. We also have many guys that want to be members to support the organization. We love our guys for sure!
Does A Girl & A Gun support charities?
Every chapter chooses their own charity. We have supported women’s shelters, various cancer organizations, animal shelters, back-to-school drives, and Secret Santa for a family in need. Our members have come together in times of natural disasters to send supplies and money to affected communities. During our most difficult times, we have raised money for one of our families affected by Intimate Partner Violence and another who has a child with brain cancer.