There is a shift related to citizens looking for education and training in gun safety in the State of Illinois. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the number of Illinois residents applying for gun permits has skyrocketed. Many residents are concerned for their safety because of the recent surge in carjackings. The State of Illinois received a record number of applications for the Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card. The number of people attending conceal and carry classes and practicing at gun ranges is also rapidly increasing.
In February 2020, Joseph Stanford opened the doors of Stanmorr Sports, Inc., with a mission of changing the stigma around firearms and educating the community about gun safety. The Stanmorr Sports facility made history as the 1st black-owned gun range located in Bridgeview, IL. The real estate deal for this property closed on January 21. Less than 60 days later, the pandemic began. Instead of backing down, Joseph and his team pushed forward to open Stanmorr Sports, Inc. This facility provides various classes, including armed security guard training, conceal and carry courses, and provides fingerprinting services. Stanford wants to use Stanmorr Sports to educate young people on career opportunities in security, law enforcement, and military services.
Stanmorr Sports was created when opportunity met faith. Owner Joseph Stanford has previous experience in the security industry. He also received training in the building currently occupied by Stanmorr Sports. When the property was listed for sale, Joseph jumped at the opportunity to purchase. He pays tribute to his biological father, Joseph Stanford Sr, and stepfather, Nathaniel Morrison, by naming the facility after them. Joseph credits both men as great examples to him during his formative years. He considers it a blessing to have such positive examples of great men in his life. Joseph’s fathers have been so influential in his life; he took skills from both and applied them to his business.
Stanmorr Sports noticed an increase in women practicing their skills at the range. With a rise in violence, a growing number of women of color are becoming gun owners. At Stanmorr Sports, women feel comfortable being able to learn from women instructors. Joseph feels a sense of responsibility to educate people and see more legal firearm owners. Joseph and his team focus on creating a safe, comfortable, and empowering environment at Stanmorr Sports, Inc.
Joseph Stanford has three tips for gun safety:
1) Mindset – Gun safety starts with the right mindset. A safe mindset gives you the confidence to handle the firearm with care.
2) Training – The primary focus of a great trainer is firearm safety and education.
3) Education – People formally educated about the proper use of firearms, gun safety, and state laws gain the confidence needed to make better decisions. Once you inform a person on firearm safety, they feel empowered, and the fear is gone.
By educating the public on gun safety, the firearm is seen as a tool and not a weapon to kill others. Joseph believes education is key to changing the negative stigma associated with the black community, firearms, and violence. He desires to take the worse enemy out of our community (illegal firearms) and change the narrative. Mr. Stanford is an advocate of educating the whole family about gun safety, including the young people. “Not one child has left our range angry or negative, but enlightened and excited,” says Joseph. “You will feel empowered once you get the proper education and conquer the fear associated with handling a firearm.”
For more information on Stanmorr Sports, visit their website at http://stanmorrsports.com/stanmorr/.