Samantha Galante transforms the CT shooting community

Samantha Galante transforms the CT shooting community

Samantha Galante has been a Yankees fan since Day 1. She was born in Queens, NY, but moved to Connecticut as a child and grew up enjoying a variety of sports. Although she had friends who enjoyed shooting, she had never been involved in shooting sports.

In 2006 she married David, and Samantha eventually left her position as a construction accountant to be a stay-at-home mother of two.  When David applied for his pistol permit in 2011, he encouraged Samantha to pick out a gun safe and to consider taking a basic firearms class since it would be in the home. She enrolled in a 2-day revolver class at Hoffman’s Gun Center not realizing that this class would change her life.

By the end of the first day Samantha could hardly wait for the next class. Taking the class showed her that the only thing she feared about firearms was the unknown.  She went to the police department first thing the next morning to begin the process of getting her own pistol permit.

Samantha went to Wolf’s Indoor Range, where she fired a Colt 45 for the first time. The first shot was a bullseye and she put the gun down and cried. She says, “I was overwhelmed with emotion. Holy cow, I just shot a 45! And holy cow, I hit the bullseye! And not only did I do it, but I liked it!”

She started to conceal carry, first in her purse and then on body, and became more comfortable handling her firearm safely in different scenarios thanks to her involvement in IDPA.

In 2013 she began competing in sanctioned IDPA matches. She says, “I was very nervous being a girl walking into matches of all men, but found out very quickly that they were very friendly helpful and encouraging.”  Soon she found a handful of women that wanted to meet for range time each week and local club matches as well.  She began to think about starting the first AG & AG chapter in Connecticut.

She scheduled her first Meet & Greet figuring that maybe about 30 people would attend, but over 100 women came to learn about AG & AG! She quickly learned that Connecticut was in need of a women’s shooting club because many women were passed over in stores and left on the sidelines.

The Newington Chapter meets 3 or 4 times a month for Girl’s Night Out, Breakfast & Bullets, and Clinics, such as intro to IDPA, gun cleaning, conceal carry, and more. Samantha has empowered women to be more comfortable shopping in sporting stores and not allow men to dismiss them. As a result, local ranges and stores are much more welcoming to women shooters.

A domestic violence survivor, Samantha enjoys helping women find their inner strength. She relates to all the different types of women who attend AG & AG events. She says, “I have been down many different paths in my life and am grateful for each step of my life as it would not have made me the person I am today or put me where I am in this world to help women find this sisterhood, answers to their fear, confidence.”

Samantha proudly shares AG & AG with everyone she meets. She has discovered that most men recommend the club to their female friends, and most women are relieved to find a group where they can openly discuss firearms topics.  Samantha says, “I love meeting all the women and seeing the progress at the range in their ability, but also I have seen so many of these women grow socially as they now have a group of sisters to meet with and not be judged.”

While Samantha Galante still cheers for the Yankees, she’s also cheering on women (and men) at the shooting range.  Women are joining her AG & AG events, improving their self defense skills, and embracing the challenge of competitive shooting in IDPA.  The Connecticut shooting community has been transformed.  She says, “The friendships made are heartwarming.  The shooting sports world is like one big family and I am happy to be a part of it.”

For Connecticut Basic Pistol Permit Classes and Private lessons, visit www.SamanthaGaL.com. Learn more about the AG & AG Newington Chapter at http://www.agirlandagunclub.com/newington/.

About Robyn Sandoval

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