“Did I give a better interview than Ryan? We’re not competitive at all,” jokes Dianna Muller, after I finish interviewing her and her husband and fellow competitive shooter, Ryan, for this series on influential athletes in the shooting sports.
What makes Muller influential? She’s a 22-year veteran of the Tulsa Police Department, 2016 USPSA Ladies Open National Champion, has competed twice for the USA in two Pan-American shotgun matches and the 2015 IPSC World Shotgun Ladies team that brought home gold. Muller also won the 2015 NRA World Shooting Championship Ladies title. She was named co-host of the “Shooting Gallery” television show, has competed in the TV series “3-Gun Nation” and is one of the best 3-Gun shooters in the world.
Though she has obviously “been there, done that,” Muller is also a regular person who goes to church, had a childhood nickname and would adopt a child in a heartbeat, and that to me is what makes her influential. Her firearms experience, combined with her affinity for people, make her an ideal ambassador for a sport that is more about relationships than it is about doing better than someone else.
As with many people in the shooting sports, Muller’s father got her started shooting. “He was a highway patrolman, and he taught my sister and me gun safety from a very young age,” Muller recalls, though at exactly what age has since faded from memory. Likewise, she doesn’t remember her first gun, instead saying it was whatever her father put in her hands.
In her mid-teens, Muller and her father tried big-game hunting, and while she did harvest a deer, she didn’t like sitting still in the cold. “I was a terrible hunter,” she admits. “Hunting-wise, he should have started me out bird hunting, pheasant hunting, where we are moving around.” That desire to move around when shooting led Muller to turn her attention toward pistol competition when, at age 16, her father took her to a USPSA match at Pike-Adams Sportsmen’s Park (PASA Park) in Barry, Illinois.
Though Muller enjoyed shooting, life and school, a career came first. After graduating from University of Central Missouri with a bachelor of science in criminal justice/psychology, Muller moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she joined the Tulsa Police Department to work in patrol, street crimes, narcotics and gang units. For recreation, she pursued horse shows and barrel racing.
The last horse she barrel raced on was named Hot Rod. “For about the first 18 years of my life, by myself, I barrel raced. It wasn’t until they built the U.S. Shooting Academy here in Tulsa that I kind of forced myself back to the pistol match just to stay up on my pistol game as a police officer,” Muller tells me of her return to competitive shooting.
In 2009, she discovered 3-Gun competition.
“I was intrigued with 3-Gun since, as a police officer, I relied on all three platforms [rifle, pistol, shotgun] at work,” she says, adding that she likes the diversity of the sport and how the stages are different all the time. Calling herself “self-diagnosed ADHD,” she told me, “3-Gun really keeps me interested and on my toes. It’s an accuracy-based game and a timed event. You’re picking up, you’re putting down, you’re trying not to get disqualified, you’re trying to remember the course of fire … . The game hooked me, but I fell in love with the people!”
Indeed, it was clear from speaking with Muller that she’s a people person, saying that she loves the people in the shooting sports and uses the hashtag #lovemy3gunfamily all the time. She loves the people and the sport so much she even left law enforcement to pursue a career as a competitive shooter.
“I had no idea I would be where I’m at, just doing this as a career,” she says of how the shooting sports changed her life. “The shooting sports surprise me in that I’m actually good enough at it and that I’m good enough for sponsors to invest in, so I gave up one career to start another.”
What about the future? Muller says one day she would like to combine her love of barrel racing with shooting and try Cowboy Mounted Action Shooting. She’d also like to own a Tommy gun, calling it “such a cool gun” with a cyclic rate that gives it a “cool factor” that is way higher than on any other gun she’s ever touched.
More importantly, Muller says her hope is to build bridges to people who don’t have the experiences that she has had with firearms. Through outreach programs such as her DC Project that brings one woman from each of the 50 states to meet with legislators on behalf of firearms owners, Muller wants to reinforce that gun owners are decent people who love America and the Constitution.
For people who are just now starting or considering involvement in the shooting sports, Muller offers this advice: “Just jump into the deep end and expect somebody to have a life vest for you. Go to the range, go to a match, take your eye and ear protection. And if you go, jump in, pitch in and help. Somebody will take you under their wing and explain everything to you. We’re a very gregarious group of people, and we’ll make sure you have a good time.”
In this Video, Professional shooters Dianna and Ryan Muller explain one of the fastest growing shooting sports in the country right now; the action-packed multi-gun competition commonly known as “3-gun.”
Seven Things You Didn’t Know About Dianna Muller
1. She has a bachelor of science in criminal justice/psychology.
2. Her family hobbies were horse shows and barrel racing.
3. Muller helped train rapper-turned-movie-star Common in preparation for his role in the movie “John Wick.”
4. Going to church is very important to Muller.
5. Her childhood nickname was pronounced “Di-zee,” though she’s not sure how it would be spelled.
6. Muller is a licensed pilot.
7. She had to draw her gun many times in the line of duty, but, thankfully, never had to shoot anyone.
Author: Warren Berg