ATLANTA — The National Rifle Association Annual Meetings & Exhibits is a big celebration of our Second Amendment right to bear arms, mainly for self protection. However, owning and handling firearms for sport is a huge part of the lifestyle of many gun owners and gun rights advocates. While on the ground covering the event, Rare caught up with Danyela D’Angelo, a 14-year-old Junior USPSA (United States Practical Shooting Association) competitive shooter who can definitely hang with (and beat) the boys when it comes to shooting sports.

“I just like the excitement of everybody being so surprised that I’m out here and actually shooting,” she said, adding that she shoots a variety of different guns, including pistol, 3Gun, Renegade Plus and octal shotgun. “There’s not many women shooters, and very little of them are Juniors [in the USPSA]. I enjoy everyone being so surprised by that.”

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D’Angelo is already a seasoned shooter as such a young age and would like to see more women and girls get involved in the sport, which is still a male-dominated activity and is intimidating to many.

“My advice for girls who want to shoot is just do it,” she insisted. “Don’t be afraid of what other people think because you’re a girl and you’re younger. Because I did it, and I don’t regret it at all. And people won’t make fun of you or judge you for it. They’re actually surprised by it, and they’re proud that you did do it.”

At first, competitive shooting was just a fun hobby for D’Angelo, but after competing in a match called Area 2, she started to take the sport more seriously. Now, she’s hoping that one day she can secure a competitive shooting scholarship so that she can go to college and later pursue a career as a lawyer. For now, she’s looking forward to continuing to hone her skills.

RELATED: This is why the NRA convention happening now is more than just a gun show

“I look forward to just getting better and improving in my shooting,” she said. “And I look forward to just shooting more and being the best I can be.”

Find the NRA convention full schedule of events here

Carlin Becker About the author:
Carlin Becker is an Associate Content Editor at Rare. Follow her on Twitter @_carlbeck.
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