Conversations with New Shooters:Lucretia Free
She says she wears a “publisher’s hat.” Meet Lucretia Free, founder and publisher of The American Woman Shooter.
Free isn’t new to the publishing business, having already launched the successful community newspaper in southeast Tucson, The Vail Voice, and its sister paper in northeast Tucson, The Tanque Verde Voice. She is, however, new to the shooting sports.
“Early last year, a friend invited me to the range. I was expecting it to be a very long morning. Instead, I was very surprised to find that I enjoyed shooting,” recalled Free.
She enjoyed the competitiveness of hitting the target, the empowerment of managing a firearm responsibly and the camaraderie with fellow shooters at the line that day.
“I was concerned the range would be unsafe, but, as anyone who has gone shooting at a range knows, there is an extreme focus on safety. I observed women shooting with friends, their husbands and children. This was not what I expected to see,” added Free.
The reporter in her yearned to find out why women came to gun ranges.
“As I spoke with other women that day, I became intrigued with their stories. I researched women and guns in Arizona and came across Carol Ruh, an instructor in northern Arizona,” said Free.
Ruh invited Free to attend a women’s shooting retreat.
“There I saw women of all ages learning about gun safety and instruction. I met a group of ladies who go to the range every Saturday and then take in dinner and a play. Then there was the 70-something woman who was caring for her mother in a rural area and wanted to make sure she could keep them both safe,” she said.
That retreat hatched the idea of publishing a women’s gun magazine.
“I’m certainly not the first nor only woman to do it, but I wanted to demonstrate the insight and knowledge of the everyday woman shooter I saw and met at the range,” said Free.
Although Free was 53 when she first fired a bullet downrange, this lady now is on fire with her enthusiasm for the shooting sports.
“There is such energy out there to do something new. I tell them, ‘If I can start this at my age, you certainly can,’ and then I refer them to a women’s club in their area. My magazine is the ultimate way to reach the most women and let them know there are many of us out there who shoot,” explained Free.
Obviously, the introduction to firearms led Free to create The American Woman Shooter, a publication that continues to change her life. Next up on her planning list: 3-Gun matches.
“Knowledge is power, so the more I learned about how to handle the basics, the more comfortable I began to feel. I never actually felt relaxed, but I wasn’t as tense as time went on. Afterward I was jazzed and wanted to do it again—and soon!”
She shoots on weekends whenever she’s not working on the magazine.
“I cannot tell you how open and embracing this industry has been to me. I knew no one, yet was welcomed by men and women across the board,” said Free.
As a go-getter, a bit of a fashionista and the mom of a professional model, Free has decided to launch another endeavor that revolves around firearms.
“I have started another business called Gun Powder and Diva Power. We put on shows featuring firearms fashions all across the country. We have a show in Tucson, in November, and plan to roll out in Phoenix, southern California, Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Atlanta area next year. It’s a Victoria’s Secret-style presentation with exciting music and professional models.”
Free declared that the magazine and fashion shows don’t really seem like work.
“Who says you can’t get started with something new later in life?”
Visit The American Woman Shooter.