New Isanti business focuses on enhancing self-defense options

The Isanti Chamber of Commerce hosts a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony May 23 for Vixen Defense. Pictured are Isanti resident Danelle Ellingboe, chamber member Danna Demo, Janet Aronson, chamber member Jan Peterson, owner Stephanie Aronson, Isanti Mayor George Wimmer, Isanti Economic Development Director Sean Sullivan and chamber member Lisa Kliese.

The Isanti Chamber of Commerce hosts a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony May 23 for Vixen Defense. Pictured are Isanti resident Danelle Ellingboe, chamber member Danna Demo, Janet Aronson, chamber member Jan Peterson, owner Stephanie Aronson, Isanti Mayor George Wimmer, Isanti Economic Development Director Sean Sullivan and chamber member Lisa Kliese. Photo by Rachel Kytonen

When Stephanie Aronson attended a class to obtain her conceal-and-carry permit, the experience could have gone better.

While Aronson said the instructor meant “no bad will,” she found it extremely uncomfortable having to take the class in the back room of a gun store with all men. This was part of the reason she decided to open Vixen Defense in early May.

Vixen Defense, located at 10 West Main St. in Isanti, offers permit-to-carry classes, basic pistol educational classes and self-defense products like pepper spray, personal alarms and stun guns.

Aronson, a 2004 graduate of Cambridge-Isanti High  School, is a certified firearms instructor. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Maine at Fort Kent and an MBA from Argus University. She has also received multiple certifications from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“My father was a firearm sales person and worked in security, so even though I was comfortable in this world, I was extremely uncomfortable going through my permit-to-carry class,” Aronson said. “I thought, if I am this uncomfortable, I can’t imagine what other women are going through that didn’t have the experiences I had growing up.”

Aronson offers a ladies-only permit-to-carry class, couples/coed permit-to-carry class and also private permit-to-carry classes. Classes are held at Vixen Defense’s private office, with the live fire portion conducted at a nearby private indoor shooting lane.

“My goal with the ladies-only permit-to-carry class is to make the women feel as comfortable as possible,” Aronson said. “I want them to know, as a female, I understand what they are going through and the uniqueness of the situation. The class focuses on the female-centric aspects of concealing and carrying a firearm.”

Focusing on the legal rights, responsibilities and restrictions of carrying a firearm in Minnesota, the state-authorized Permit to Carry a Pistol course also addresses increasing awareness of your surroundings, basic safety fundamentals of owning and using a handgun and a live fire safety performance. This class fulfills the certification and recertification requirements for the state of Minnesota.

Average course duration is two to four hours, depending upon class size. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive a certificate of completion that must be presented to their local sheriff’s department with the official Permit to Carry application.

Aronson also offers a basic pistol class that is an introductory class to handgun use, ownership and selection, which is also housed at Vixen Defense and includes a live fire portion.

The course addresses the fundamentals of what a handgun is, how it functions, parts and features, and how to use them in a safe and responsible manner. The focus of this course is on the three major aspects of pistol use and ownership — safety, mechanics and technique.

“Everything has been going really well so far,” Aronson said. “I’m hopeful there is a market for this type of business in this area. My class prices are all-inclusive, which means if someone needs training guns or ammo, I can provide that for them. All you really need to do is show up, and I’ll take care of everything else.”

In honor of Vixen Defense’s grand opening, classes will be 25 percent off throughout May and June. The store is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. Mondays; evenings and off days are available by appointment.

For more information, such as specific times for class offerings, call 612-516-6304 or visit www.vixendefense.com.

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