As the number of women buying their first guns and getting heavily into training continues to increase, so does attention on female role models in the gun world. The thing is, many lists detailing the skills and pursuits of women with guns focus on the same groups of people. In reality, there are a multitude of areas in the gun world to get involved in, and not all of them involve competition (that’s just the one that seems to get the most coverage). We’ve put together a list of some women to watch in the firearms world, some of whom you’ve undoubtedly heard of before, and some you probably have not. Check it out.
Julie Golob, Team Smith & Wesson
As both a world and national champion many times over, Julie Golob is someone you’ve most likely heard of. Julie is also a veteran, mother, and author (among other things). She’s probably best known for her major role as part of Team Smith & Wesson. Of course, she has more than three decades of competition behind her and more to come, so she’s done a lot more than become the popular face of Smith & Wesson. Her awards include (but are definitely not limited to):
- IPSC World Champion
- US Army Athlete of the Year
- 9 IPSC Medals, 5 Individual & 4 Team Medals, 3 Gold, 4 Silver & 2 Bronze
- First & Only 7 Division USPSA Pistol Ladies National Champion
- Action Pistol High Master, Distinguished & National Record Holder
- 155+ Major Championship Titles
- 50+ World & National Titles
Not only is Julie a stellar world-class shooter, but she’s also an advocate for gun safety and training. She’s even written a few books with some content being specifically geared toward kids, and she has a shooting while pregnant e-book available for free on her website. Something not everyone is familiar with is her advocacy for better research into Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM). Her daughter was 11 when she was diagnosed with JDM in 2019 and Julie has been pushing for better awareness and treatment ever since. Suffice it to say Julie Golob is an excellent role model whether you’re looking for a dedicated parent, a skilled shooter, or a safety advocate.
Sarah Cade Hauptman, PHLster Holsters (and more)
A woman in the gun world who’s constantly outdoing herself is Sarah Cade Hauptman. Some know her as one of the two faces of PHLster Holsters (her husband, Jon Hauptman, is the other half), but she’s done so much over the years. From co-hosting a Guns Guide to Liberals podcast to advocating in the Minnesota House of Representatives for Second Amendment rights to creating an entire social media culture about concealed carry, Sarah is a serious force to be reckoned with. Oh, and did we mention she falls on the liberal side of the political spectrum, but she’s pro-gun, and makes that known?
Perhaps the coolest thing Sarah’s had a hand in lately is the growth of an online sub-culture in the gun world dedicated to the PHLster Holsters Engima. The Enigma is a unique and altogether brilliant concealed carry holster system, and in the wake of its launch Sarah has participated in fostering open, non-judgmental conversations about carrying a gun. This is especially noteworthy for female gun owners, many of whom I’ve seen post in the groups showing their current carry setup and asking for pointers (or just showing off its effectiveness).
It might be cliche to say it, but the PHLster groups are basically a safe space for gun owners. It’s friendly, open, and informational. Sarah has made a number of videos and posts about carrying firearms and she does it all while doing things like horseback riding or wearing leggings, both of which tend to be more challenging than you might think. Sarah is the legit face of gun owners everywhere, and she’s commanding and tough, too.
Kim Rhode, Olympian
Shotgunners know who Kim Rhode is, and you should, too. Kim is a crazy-skilled shooter who has earned Olympic medals for her shotgun skills. She’s the first woman who’s won medals in six Olympics in a row and is a six-time national champion. Her focus is on double trap and skeet shooting but she’s also the first American athlete to compete as an individual in all three shotgun areas: trap, double trap, and skeet. Kim’s had a long history of shooting. Her gun education started when she was 10, and by the time she was 13 she’d won Gold in Women’s Skeet at the Junior World Championships (yes, really). Kim’s awards include:
- 6-time Olympic Medalist
- 33-time ISSF World Cup Gold Medalist
- 13-time ISSF World Cup Silver Medalist
- 12-time ISSF World Cup Bronze Medalist
- 2019 ISSF World Championships, Gold, Women’s Skeet Team
- 2011 Pan American Games, Gold, Women’s Skeet
Aside from her shotgun accomplishments, Kim is a lifetime member of the NRA and has an interesting hobby of restoring antique cars. She’s put a lot of time and effort into encouraging youth shooters to get involved and stay involved in firearms, and just as most shooters are, she’s an advocate for safety. Kim is also a hunter and enjoys the outdoor lifestyle in general. During an interview with Shooting Sports USA, she once said:
Every competitor will tell you they love the competition, the camaraderie, the travel and winning. Reaching the podium can be very addictive. After you’ve stood on the podium, watched the American flag go up the pole and hear the National Anthem play, it will have you coming back again and again.
Stephannie Weidner, CEO/XO at Active Self Protection
Stephannie Weidner isn’t just the person responsible for wrangling Active Self Protection founder John Correia, she’s an accomplished gun owner in her own right. In recent years she’s managed to build an increasingly impressive name for herself, and she has the creds to back it:
- Senior Active Self Protection Staff Instructor and one of only a handful of people able to teach ASP-branded classes
- Certified Force Science Analyst
- Rangemaster Advanced Certified Pistol Instructor
- Massad Ayoob Group certified Deadly Force Instructor
- Verified Graduate of the Law of Self Defense Instructor Program
- Force Science Institute Realistic De-Escalation Instructor
- Certified Use of Force Instructor, State of South Dakota
- NRA Certified Pistol Instructor
- NRA Certified RTBAV Instructor
- NRA Certified Range Safety Officer
- Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events, Train the Trainer
- Instructor at National A Girl and A Gun Conference, 2020
- Speaker/Presenter at the USCCA Concealed Carry Expo, Pittsburgh, PA 2019
- Speaker/Presenter at The Well Armed Woman Illinois State Shoot, 2019
- Speaker/Instructor at The Active Self Protection National Conference, Manhattan, KS 2019
- Coordinator/Speaker/Instructor at the Active Self Protection National Conference 2019/2020
But, just as with everyone, there’s way more to Stephannie than her management prowess or patience in dealing with admittedly obnoxious people on social media. For one thing, she’s a dedicated and hardcore mom who has faced and continues to face whatever challenges are thrown at her in an admirably stubborn way. Life is not easy, and Stephannie makes it clear it can be rough, but she also gets things done, and that in itself makes her someone to respect.
Stephannie is also crystal clear that she feels life has value and should be defended. With that in mind, she participates in all manner of training across the country and is constantly working to further her own skill base. She is the epitome of a hard-working badass who also just happens to be a dedicated mom, a fantastic friend, and absolutely someone you want to have your back.
GunMag Warehouse Women Who Write
And in case you didn’t realize it, there’s an entire team of dedicated women writing everything from features to reviews to press releases here. Our Managing Editor, Stephanie Kimmell, leads the pack with writers including Patti Miller, Grace Stevens, Steph Martz, and Meghan Lowery. Tip of the hat to our amazing team and all they do.
Who do you consider a woman to watch in the gun world? Share your thoughts in the comments section.