A self-proclaimed “new shooter,” Lucretia Free is none-the-less intensely passionate about her sport. While she didn’t approach firearms from a traditional route (far from it), she is aptly qualified to speak to retailers about firearm sales to women. With a BA in Marketing, an MBA in Management, and a good stint as a merchandise manager with a major retailer, her training and experience is solidly anchored in the retail sector. Tack on a passion for talking to women, about women, all while celebrating the diverse paths we are on, and you begin to get a picture of Lucretia’s incredible journey.
(And we’re just getting to the fun part.)
Based in Tucson, Arizona, with less than two years of shooting history, Lucretia experienced the fun and camaraderie at a gun range and launched a business around it: The American Woman Shooter magazine, encompassing print and digital editions. It’s currently 6x a year with plans to grow to
12x and a shooting sports fashion show series called “Gunpowder and Diva Power.”
All from a gal who commiserated with a young moms club back in her San Francisco days about how to decline play dates with friends where it was known there were … (cue the dramatic music) … dat, dah, dah… GUNS in the house!
She’s come a long way, baby!
Growing up, Lucretia’s only awareness of firearms was her granddad’s shotgun tucked deep in the back of a closet. She and her sisters were simply scared into the rules of Do Not Touch. It worked for a long, long time.
On the invitation of a friend to the gun range, she experienced the transformative power of firearms (always appropriate for a blasé-day pick me up), and Lucretia discovered something else. An entire cadre of women with a secret already unleashed—it is okay to touch guns.
“There is a big sense of empowerment when I am at the shooting range,” says Lucretia, a single mom since her husband passed away in 2010.
“Maybe it’s like how my daughter feels on her 1700-pound horse. Kids can say things at school, but after school it feels pretty empowering for her to ride. I think we both feel we can handle anything if we can handle this. Same for me with firearms.”
Lucretia embraces diversity, and when it comes to women in the shooting sports industry, she’ll fight tooth and nail to support any woman’s decision for where she’s at on the spectrum.
“Heck, I’m a vegetarian,” said Lucretia, who admits she doesn’t hunt.
“But I will go down and support a woman who hunts! I haven’t arrived at a place, yet, where I’m ready to conceal-carry on a daily basis, but I support what another woman chooses to do in her shooting efforts. All of it.”
Lucretia hires female writers for her magazine with expertise in all realms of shooting sports, and she continues to grow in her own skills and experiences. She marvels at the depth and scope of women enjoying a world she didn’t know existed two years ago. The retailing side of her brain kicked in big time. There was huge potential to tap into so many more like her. “And we buy stuff, a lot of stuff,” Free laughed.
Lucretia’s passion is to share the stories of the interesting women she’s met on the firing lines across America and correct some of the perceptions of who they are. “We don’t look the same, we don’t think the same or carry the exact same views,” said Free. “We are united, though, around this issue.”