For Steven and Lisa Heisler, the Delran Junior Marksman Club is a place to learn, have fun and bond with one another. The two stumbled across the club three years ago when they first began to learn about firearm safety and how to properly shoot. Over the years, the hobby grew, and now Lisa sits on the board at the Delran Junior Marksman Club.
According to the club’s website, the Delran Junior Marksman Club is an educational organization whose main purpose is to instruct the youth in firearm responsibility, safety, familiarization and marksmanship. The outdoor shooting range has operated on Taylor’s Lane in Delran since 1962. The NRA-certified instructors teach club members about the use of rifles, pistols, shotguns and even archery.
“When my daughter was in high school, she did a report on subcultures,” said Steven. “We investigated the subculture of people who had guns. I had no clue about this. The more we looked into it, we realized that not everyone should have a gun, but some people should have guns. Guns are on both ends of the moral spectrum. We interviewed a lot of people for the report. People in the military. People who I knew that had guns and never understood why they had them. It was really eye-opening.
“I talked to my wife and we said that we were always looking to do something together, and now this is a family bonding thing.” Steven continued. “I found out that it’s fun, it’s a really neat sport. Me and my wife trained for about a year and a half before we bought our first gun. We did that because you need to know what you’re doing if you’re going to own a gun. You need to keep it safe and keep it locked up. Keep it out of the hands of people that don’t know what they’re doing. If you’re not vested into doing the work, you probably shouldn’t have a gun anyway. “
As Steven and Lisa continue to learn as much as they can about firearms and firearm safety, Lisa noticed that in the sport and at shooting ranges in general, it’s mostly male-dominated. For this reason, Lisa sought to be in charge of this year’s Women on Target event on Saturday, Aug. 10.
“We want to teach safety and familiarization,” said Lisa. “Sometimes women can be a little intimidated just to show up at a range if they don’t have someone to bring them. It’s an all-day course from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m and it’s an NRA-sponsored course. Women will do about one hour on each discipline and will have one-on-one supervision. After that, we break for lunch, then we come back and have more teaching and they can go to whatever station they haven’t been in.
“It’s really fun, especially when you hit the target,” Lisa continued. “I got into it because it just seemed like something I wanted to learn, and now I want to encourage more women.”
The Delran Junior Marksman Club’s shooting range is open for general shooting Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4:30 p.m. It is also open from May through October on Wednesday evenings from 6 p.m. to dusk. For more information on the shooting range and the Women on Target event, participants can visit the Delran Junior Marksman Club website at delranjuniormarksman.com.