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.

Norma G. Benitez


Who or what got you into shooting?
My paternal family is in law enforcement and military and I also married a Marine. I was always around firearms, however, I decided to get into shooting after starting to travel for work purposes and had the need for protection. I fell in love with it and became an instructor shortly thereafter. Now I love to teach safety and challenge people to defend their God given rights and be responsible, not to fear them.

Why are you involved with the NRA or how do you support their efforts?
I absolutely support their efforts. I am an instructor, a recruiter and a promoter of the Second Amendment. I teach firearm safety primarily to children (Scouts) and all others who care to take my classes, often free of charge.

Tell us about the first gun you owned or your favorite gun.
I shot different firearms before falling in love with my baby Glock 26 .40 cal, though I am quite fond of HK and I do own Beretta, Colt, S&W and a few rifles. However, nothing compares to my Glocks.

What's your current go-to gun?
Glock 26 .40 cal

What's your favorite shooting range or place to hunt?
I am fortunate to be able to shoot at my home range.

Do you have a favorite accessory or clothing item you won't go shooting or hunting without? What makes it so important?
I am big on safety gear, preferably all pink! I do like the pinky extension on the Glock.

What's your most unusual gun-related item?
Ammo Pen

What's your best or most memorable moment as it relates to firearms?
My best or most memorable moment has been teaching my children and realizing that the key is education. My youngest has shot since he was six years old. I love the way they respect firearms and know how and when to use them.

I own a gun because:
At the age of 18 I was robbed at gunpoint...I was lucky to survive because I took control of the situation, however, I did develop a "dislike" for firearms. I did not want to be afraid of guns. I wanted to be in control, and if I survived that with my quick thinking I knew I could overcome my fear. I also travel a lot alone at late hours and wanted to have some kind of protection, as suggested by my law enforcement friends and family.

Tell us the best (or worst) gun advice you've ever been given.
The worst gun advice I’ve been given is to purchase a firearm before learning to use one. It made no sense to me so I did not do it.

What's your easiest gun to handle and shoot? Hardest?
I 100% prefer Glocks.

What would be your recommendation for best entry-level gun?
I use the Beretta U22 Neos .22LR pistol with six inch barrel - it’s perfect for entry-level.

Your ideal shopping trip: the mall or an outdoor outfitter?
I love the outfitter but I'll take the mall 80% of the time.

What do you think is the best home defense — firing or fleeing?
I think using preventative or warning devices like dead bolts, chains and alarms should be the first line of defense. I live in Florida and I agree with the Castle Doctrine, however, I would assess the situation and act accordingly, trusting my judgment. I never want to have to place my hand on my firearm, but once it’s there I am firing. There are too many variables to be considered.

Who or what inspires you?
I used to say my grandmother, but after the death of my child I have to say my family and myself because I can overcome anything. I live by the rule of overcoming my fears and do no harm, but I am cautious about others’ perceptions. I always think ahead and consider all scenarios, including negative ones.

What's your favorite holiday? Why?
Halloween...It’s the day after my birthday and the weekend I chair a shooting event for fundraising purposes for our Shooting Sports Committee.

What do you do to relax and unwind -- watch TV, listen to music, go to movies, catch a game, exercise, something else?
I do all of that and a lot of research...I read anything and everything in order to keep myself informed and able to relate to all generations. It helps during training.

Your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment is my family, and the fact that, without effort, I help all. No matter what it is I usually manage to lend a hand... I have been nicknamed "Wonder Woman" because I know a bit of everything and usually can figure anything out.