[Rushtalk] Jeanine Gill, Shooting Range Owner and Woman Pioneer of the Year
cwsiv at juno.com
Sun Jan 7 14:42:48 MST 2018
Jeanine Gill, Shooting Range Owner and Woman Pioneer of the Year
By Beth Alcazar // 01/02/2018
It’s always exciting for me to hear about the successes of other women
in the firearms industry, and one of those victories that came to my
attention recently was about Minnesota’s Jeanine Gill, President & Owner
of Osseo Gun Club & Pro Shop, who was awarded “Woman Pioneer of the
Year” from the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO-MN)
for extraordinary success and achievement in a predominately
male-dominated industry. The NAWBO awards focus on the many
accomplishments and contributions of exemplary women who have
contributed to the women’s business community and who continue to build
a legacy for future generations of entrepreneurs. But Woman Pioneer of
the Year is particularly noteworthy, since it signifies that Jeanine has
achieved success as a female business owner in our oftentimes
male-oriented world of firearms. It’s also refreshing to see that a
national entity like NAWBO (headquartered in Washington, D.C.) desires
to “effectively represent the full diversity of the women business owner
community,” and they gave this much-deserved recognition to a woman who
clearly supports the 2nd Amendment and even owns and operates a shooting
range … of all things!
Jeanine is certainly a unique and exemplary woman who had a passion and
a goal … and followed it through to fruition. At age 50, Jeanine left
her career job of 20-plus years to construct and open a family-friendly
public gun range located in downtown Osseo, Minnesota. The indoor,
20-lane facility features three separate indoor ranges for rifle and
pistol, a 7,000-square-foot retail area, two classrooms with a variety
of training opportunities, a firearms simulator room for virtual
training and on-site gunsmith services.
I reached out to Jeanine to get some thoughts and answers about her
decision to build a range from the ground up and about what this special
award means to her.
What was the main reason that sparked your decision to change careers
and open a gun range?
I left my job and worked for a range manufacturer involved in inside
sales. At this company, I received excellent training in handguns. At
the same time, my husband Chris and I had a part-time business in our
home. We had a Federal Firearms License (FFL) in order to receive
firearms and transfer them through the ATF background system to
customers who purchased them. This was a part-time venture for us, which
we did for about five years. And while we considered many businesses
over the years, after having so many wonderful customers come to our
home, we started talking about opening a gun store. After my experience
with a range manufacturer, adding a range felt like an ideal business
model, with retail and range.
What were some of the challenges or obstacles you faced with building
the range and/or within the industry itself?
As Osseo Gun Club & Pro Shop was born, lots of work was to be done. And
there were many challenges in this project. Building the range took
about three years of planning, with creating a business plan, finding a
location, securing financing and getting approval with the city before
construction started in May of 2014. We opened on Black Friday 2014,
with our 20,000-square-foot, 20-lane indoor range with 100% purge air
system. We also feature a simulator, classrooms, retail space and a
lounge area. From our opening, Osseo Gun Club has been a welcoming
facility to everyone. We have had women customers since the beginning,
but over the past several years, our increase in female customers has
been significant. We also added a women’s league called A Girl And A
Gun, which promotes women to improve their shooting skills along with
enjoying fellowship with other women and education on everything from
ammo, lasers, holsters and more.
What does winning Woman Pioneer of the Year mean for you?
It’s a nice recognition to all women who strive to make a difference in
the world. I’m happy to say that women like to know OGC is woman-owned,
which seems to have a comfort factor for some of them. In
addition, OGC’s goals are to help develop their training in target
shooting and meet other like ladies who want to have the confidence in
handling a firearm, learn some defensive shooting and even get their
permit to carry a firearm. All are common goals by many of our female
Well, congratulations, Jeanine, from all of us. And a special “thank
you” to you and to all the trailblazers and influencers out there who
are making a difference for men and women in our industry.
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