Smith and Wesson

Welcome to the NRA Women's Channel

Presented by Smith & Wesson

NRA Women is designed for female gun enthusiasts. It's a resource for news, education, events and more. And we're telling more stories of empowered women like you. Come explore, connect, celebrate and unite with the women of NRA.

Laurie Lee Dovey

Outdoor Media Professional


Johnstown, Pa. and Cape Canaveral, Fla.

Who or what got you into shooting?

I would have to say my father, although we did not shoot together until I was 30 years old. The nights we spent, when I was a kid, cleaning his guns before, during and after hunting season or a day at the range was my learning ground. In those days, little girls didn't shoot. When given an opportunity to start shooting (hunting), after I left home, I took it. When Dad and I hunted together for the first time, our bond was deeply sealed.

Do you shoot handguns, shotguns, rifles or all of the above?

All, but getting more into handguns now.

Why are you involved with the NRA or how do you support their efforts?

I'm an endowment member because the right to bear arms is critical to our freedom. I support the NRA by talking with everyone I can, who may not share my hard-core point of view in hopes of educating them, having them consider logical and truthful information and hopefully get them to the range at least once.

Tell us about the first gun you owned or your favorite gun.

My favorite gun, today, is a Browning .380 that my father owned. It's my carry gun and my connection to the past. I have to admit I like all the new air guns available for hunting.

What's your current go-to gun?

My go-to gun is a .12 gauge shotgun, a Remington 11-87 that my father bought for me — the first gun I ever owned (at about 25). I use it for clays, fun, self defense and hunting.

What's your favorite shooting range or place to hunt?

I'd have to say Western hunting simply because the habitat is so different from my home haunts of Pa. and the Southeast.

Do you have a favorite accessory or clothing item you won't go shooting or hunting without? What makes it so important?

My inflatable seat cushion. Being comfortable is difficult for me, my back often hurts. The cushion allows me to hunt longer, if/when I get set up.

What's your most unusual gun-related item?

I wouldn't say I have anything terribly unusual — I'm pretty mainstream, and no super shooter who needs special gear. I can say the blaze orange finish on my new Weatherby .270 makes me smile every time I look at it, and I feel pretty "cool" carrying it too.

What's your best or most memorable moment as it relates to firearms?

There is absolutely no question. My first hunt with my father was my most magical time ever in the outdoors.

I own a gun because:

It's my right to own firearms. I love the shooting sports. I will defend myself and my family.

Tell us the best (or worst) gun advice you've ever been given.

Worst: To shoot a .44 mag to kill a deer on an all ladies hunt. The gun was just too much for me.

What's your easiest gun to handle and shoot? Hardest?

Easiest .20 or .12 gauge semi-auto. Hardest big caliber handguns.

What would be your recommendation for best entry-level gun?

I'm by no means an expert. I tell folks I talk to to go to a reputable dealer and professional to discuss primary use, needs and desires, level of experience and then get some recommendations.

Your ideal shopping trip: the mall or an outdoor outfitter?

Do you really need to ask? Outfitter every time.

What do you think is the best home defense — firing or fleeing?

Call 911 then fire if threatened.

Who or what inspires you?

Women who are lead to firearms later in life and who take on shooting, defense or hunting when they've not been brought up around guns. That takes courage.

What's your favorite holiday? Why?

July 4th — It's Independence Day — the time to celebrate the greatness of our nation.

What do you do to relax and unwind — watch TV, listen to music, go to movies, catch a game, exercise, something else?

I do a lot of things, but when I can I prefer to get outdoors, even if just to watch a sunset, do some gardening or sit lakeside.

Your greatest accomplishment?

Mentoring young people (college students) and helping them find careers in the outdoor industry.