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.

Michelle Garretson


Bakersfield, CA

Who or what got you into shooting?

Accompanying my husband on his hunting trips finally gave me the bug. I not only hunt but I love to shoot for sport.

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

Handguns, Rifle, Shotguns and Bow.

NRA member since:

Many years, but Life member since 2013

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

Because it has the ability and the means to stand up for, and fight for, our 2nd Amendment Rights. The hunting organizations fight for our hunting rights, but I want ALL of my rights protected. I support their efforts by the money I pay for dues.

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

I have 2 favorite guns - My Tikka .300WSM is accurate, lightweight and a gem. It's been to Colorado, Idaho and Africa with me and has done me proud. My Kahr 9mm is my choice for a concealed carry gun. It's small, light weight and packs a punch. I am very comfortable, and extremely accurate, with both and they feel great in my hands.

What's your current go-to gun?

For protection, or concealed carry, it is my Kahr 9mm. I also have a S&W .38 Special +P that works great.

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

Shooting range - home. We have our own 100-yard and 300 yard on our ranch. Favorite to hunt is anywhere, but I am partial to Africa.

I own a gun because:

I love to shoot and it makes me feel safe. I was held up at gunpoint when I was 19 years old (35 years ago). Instead of being afraid of guns, I swore I would not be a victim again. I have been around or "into" guns ever since. I attend college in the evening and the lights in the parking lots do not always work properly. I want to make sure I make it home safely.

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

From my brother, who helped me when I was held up, "If ever pointed at you, do not look at the gun, look in the perpetrator’s eyes". From my instructor, which helps me stay focused when handling my firearm, "Don't point your firearm at anything you don't want to destroy".

Would be your recommendation for best entry-level gun?

Best entry-level gun is a revolver. It's easy to maneuver and load.

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

Anywhere Online. I don't like to go to many malls.

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

Firing. I'm a firm believer in protecting what's mine. I worked hard for what I have and I'm not going to give it up easily, by fleeing, to a creep just when the creep didn't earn it. That doesn't make any sense.

Who or what inspires you?

John Wayne, fictional yes, but still an icon. Teddy Roosevelt, Progressive yes, but he was tough and a fighter. The pioneers, they came across this great country and fought for everything they had, losing family and belongings along the way and never gave up. They had more grit than most people today. Finally - the fear of losing my God given rights.

What's your favorite holiday? Why?

Christmas. I believe in Santa Claus... don't you?

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

Shoot, quilt, garden, be with my horses and granddaughter.

Your greatest accomplishment?

My family.