Three-time Olympic athlete Lanny Barnes knows what it is like to feel unsafe.
“I have traveled all around the world and have been in a lot of places where it didn’t feel safe,” she said.
Barnes developed training with the U.S. Olympic Committee and when she retired, she continued to teach firearms-related self-defense courses.
“As I started teaching those, there were a lot of women that had the best intentions but maybe a firearm wasn’t their best option,” she explained. “Not because they didn’t know how to shoot but maybe because of where they lived, or they had too much hesitation when using one, or they didn’t feel comfortable enough.”
Barnes said she started researching alternatives and found the Byrna.
“This is perfect. This is something that anybody can use, almost anywhere as long as it is legal, and it is safe for the person using it. It offers people an option other than a firearm.”
Barnes explained that a lot of people aren’t ready to take the responsibility of a firearm and Byrna offers a great solution.
“A lot of people don’t understand that when you get your concealed carry permit and you’re carrying a firearm, you’ve chosen to take that responsibility of defending yourself and taking a life if need be,” she said.
While Barnes recommends training with any self-defense device, she said there are some things you can do daily to improve.
“I recommend people do five to 10 minutes, three or four times a week, everybody has that time, you can even do it while you are watching TV,” she said. “You can do that because you do want distractions while you are practicing because when you’re out in the real world you are going to have distractions.”
She recommends practicing taking your Byrna out of concealment, from different positions, and loading a magazine, so you’re ready if you ever need to do it.
“To get to the point where someone feels comfortable and confident enough to be able to use Byrna, or a firearm in a self-defense situation takes repetition and confidence,” she said.
“I would trust my students with a Byrna product because they are very safe. The way you guys have it built and put in a safety with a long trigger so that it is not going off in a purse or a pocket. The safety mechanisms are there. It is not going to accidentally go off unless you actually are intending to use it.”
Barnes teaches self-defense courses throughout the United States with her sister and can help raise confidence with weapons, including the Byrna.