GREENSBORO, N.C. — One couple is working to fill the void of minority and female certified concealed handgun instructors in the state and to help educate their community.
What You Need To Know
Erica Maness and her fiance Dontae Donnell are working to educate the community on safety and proper ways of handling a gun
Both are certified NRA and North Carolina Concealed Carry Handgun Instructors
Both want to see more female and minority instructors in the field
Erica Maness and her fiance Dontae Donnell have started their own business called Sharpshooterz Tactical Solutions, LLC. They are both certified NRA and North Carolina Concealed Carry Handgun Instructors.
Maness and Donnell have been in the firearms community for more than a decade. Maness says it’s made her understand the importance of treating guns properly.
“I didn’t grow up around guns, and the guns I did see were illegal or unresponsible firearms owners, and they never had any professional training, and they just had because they look cool,” Maness said.
Maness says she uses what she saw as a child now as a way to educate her community on safety and how to properly handle handguns.
“They’ll purchase firearms and have no formal training at all, and so we knew that was a issue in our community, and we wanted to be able to fill that gap,” she said.
Maness decided to become an instructor, because there’s a lack of minorities and women in the field.
“Because we need trainers too, we need people who look like us,” she said.
The pair have a deep passion for this, and their goal is to make women and people of color to feel comfortable when taking a lesson.
“Some females don’t feel comfortable shooting with male instructors. So, it’s a nice way for them to feel comfortable, relax and take the instruction and do what we are asking. Without them being nervous and be like, ‘oh my God. I’m here with a man I don’t know,’ so I think that’s really important to feel comfortable,” Maness said.
And it’s important to also have a better understanding of what their students might need.
“Having someone who can be compassionate and empathic to my situation as a student, it makes the learning experience more greater,” Donnell said.
It’s an experience they hope will educate people on the proper use of firearms.