“My husband was traveling for work,” Jane says. “I was having trouble sleeping because my kids were in bed with me. The windows were open since it was a nice spring night. I thought I heard someone jostling the sliding glass door under our bedroom window. The next thing I heard was the house alarm going off. I called 911 before the alarm company could even call me.”
Fortunately, the alarm was enough to scare the intruder away. The police arrived quickly and made sure no one was inside the home.
“It was the scariest three minutes of my life,” she says. “I don’t think I slept until my husband returned home from his work trip overseas a few days later.”
After the incident, Jane wanted to learn how to improve her personal safety. She found out that Stock and Barrel Gun Club (an upscale and inviting club offering a shooting range, training facility, and pro shop) offers safety classes for women that focus on surviving a home invasion. The class helps students develop a plan to minimize the threat while maximizing their chances of survival.
“The first time I went there, I sat in my car in the parking lot for 45 minutes, trying to convince myself to go in,” Jane says.
Randy Ferris, General Manager of Stock and Barrel Gun Club, showed Jane some tools to use for protection, including a small flashlight. “I was surprised when he told me it could be used for self-defense,” she says.
Jane wasn’t initially comfortable around firearms. She didn’t grow up with exposure to hunting or shooting. Then she met her husband, who liked to trap and target shoot. She tried firing a single round one time with him but didn’t like it.
“From the moment I walked into Stock and Barrel, the employees made me feel comfortable and relaxed,” she says. “The fear I had turned into respect. I didn’t feel intimidated at all.”
Stock and Barrel looks more like an alpine version of a country club than your dad’s sparse shooting range of the past. Originally started as a place to “shoot and smoke cigars” (according to their website), it’s become a place where people can feel at ease learning about and enjoying firearms. Adorned with comfortable leather chairs, large-screen TVs, featuring a laid-back lodge style, Stock and Barrel looks like it belongs somewhere in the mountains.
Jane took a handgun safety class, which gave her the confidence to try target shooting with her husband. Now the two have competitions to see who’s the better shot. She’s taken several classes at Stock and Barrel, including those focused on self-defense, gun safety, and conceal and carry and she encourages others to get educated about their personal safety.
“You don’t necessarily have to take a class on firearms, but don’t be afraid to learn how to protect yourself,” she says.
She also encourages parents to teach their children how to respect guns, whether parents own them or not. Her son took the Minnesota Youth Hunter Safety Course, and her daughter, coming up on 11 years old, is almost old enough to take it.
“A child should know what to do if they ever find a gun,” she says. “They should know not to touch it and to find an adult.”
Ferris says the most popular classes at Stock and Barrel are Introduction to Handgun Safety and Permit to Carry. They offer several classes that aren’t solely focused on firearms, like Less Lethal Defense Training, Surviving an Active Shooter, Travel Safety and Security, and Surviving a Home Invasion. They also periodically offer free seminars on topics such as firearms history, strategies for protecting your children, and mental health. Ferris urges parents to talk to him or another staff member to determine appropriate training for children. Their training is the most comprehensive program available to civilians in the Twin Cities.
Stock and Barrel offers memberships, but the public is also welcome. The staff enjoys working with new shooters while giving them a safe and comfortable environment. Like Jane, many people go to Stock and Barrel simply because they’re concerned about their personal safety.
“You don’t necessarily have to take a class on firearms, but don’t be afraid to learn how to protect yourself.”