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.

Maria Heil


New Freedom, Pennsylvania

Who or what got you into shooting?
My husband introduced me to hunting just a few weeks before our wedding.

Do you shoot handguns, shotguns, rifles or all of the above?
All of the above, but not often enough!

Why are you involved with the NRA or how do you support their efforts?
Without the NRA this country would be drastically different! I support the NRA through my service on the Board of Directors, attending functions, speaking, and just generally talking about the NRA.

Tell us about the first gun you owned or your favorite gun.:
My favorite gun is my Para (Ordnance) Carry .45, but I really can't carry it, it's too large for my purses.

What's your current go-to gun?:
Kel-Tec PF 9

What's your favorite shooting range or place to hunt?:
Favorite range is the NRA range! Favorite place to hunt...where I've gone with Women On Target...North Carolina (deer & duck) and Wyoming (antelope).

Do you have a favorite accessory or clothing item you won't go shooting or hunting without? What makes it so important?:
Shooting-my husband's Wolf Ears. Hunting-warm clothing that fits me!

What's your best or most memorable moment as it relates to firearms?:
First time I shot my Para Carry .45...I was at the gun club range with my husband and son. My first shot was a dead on bulls eye... the looks on their faces were priceless!

I own a gun because:
For self-defense, hunting and just because I can!

What's your easiest gun to handle and shoot? Hardest?:
Easiest to clean is my Kel-Tec, or so my husband says!

What would be your recommendation for best entry-level gun?:
A .22 revolver (a Ruger Bearcat)

Your ideal shopping trip: the mall or an outdoor outfitter?:
Our Second Amendment husband and I and another couple spend the day going from gun shop to gun shop, and we have lunch too!

What do you think is the best home defense — firing or fleeing?:
Stand Your Ground!

Who or what inspires you?:
Pro gun women!

What's your favorite holiday? Why?: come home for dinner.

What do you do to relax and unwind — watch TV, listen to music, go to movies, catch a game, exercise, something else?:
Relax??? I don't really know that word!

Your greatest accomplishment?:
Being an NRA Board Member, which is also my greatest honor.