by Sheila Rockwell
While most teenage girls have spent their summers at the mall, beach, or hanging out with friends, Katie Francis has spent hers a little differently: preparing and training to compete at the World Shotgun Championships in Italy this September. 16-year-old Katie is the only female on the US Junior team.
Katie was first introduced to firearms at the age of five by her father, who taught her basic firearm safety. She expressed interest in learning how to shoot, so he took her to the range. “After I shot for the first time, I fell in love! At the age of 9 I got my first 9mm and my first .223. Also at the age of 9, I started competing in local pistol matches. When I was 12, I got my first shotgun and started shooting 3-gun”, Katie says. Since then, Katie has become a formidable opponent in the 3 Gun realm and has garnered international attention. Several of her match videos have gone viral, spurning a fan base of over 187,000 followers on her Facebook page.
Though she has certainly achieved “celebrity” status in the shooting community, Katie remains grounded and humble. She attends high school and is a member of the Spanish Club, FBLA, and runs track. “I am very excited about going to Italy. This will be my first time overseas and that just adds to the excitement! I have won some high junior and high ladies at matches before, but bringing home a gold medal would be the biggest accomplishment ever!” Katie and the other members of the US Junior team have had several team practices in order to prepare for their upcoming trip to Italy. “I think the practice together is really bringing us closer and showing us teamwork! The World Shoot is IPSC and is different rules from 3-gun, so I’m just trying to get used to that”, she says. “Right now I am trying to read the rules and break down the stages. I am also getting my belt and gear ready because I cannot use the same stuff I do in everyday competition.”
In regards to being the only girl on the team, Katie isn’t letting it stand in her way. “I don’t think it is intimidating being the only girl. I am on a great team with my friends and I think we will just have a great time and hopefully bring home some gold medals!”
Her goals for the World Shoot are simple: Besides the ultimate goal of bringing home Gold, Katie says that she hopes “that the junior team can get to know each other better and become stronger as a team. It is going to be different, because in 3-gun we compete against each other and now we have to come together as a team and compete.” As for her future life goals, Katie hopes to one day become a doctor. Katie has a few words of advice to give to aspiring young shooters: “I would just say to go out and try it because you never know if you’re going to like it. If you don’t, that’s fine, and if you do, then great! Just be safe and have fun!”
Katie is currently sponsored by Benelli, STI, Freedom Munitions, 5.11, Ranger Proof, Brightwave Energy, Avid Outdoorsmen, Real Guys Review, AR-15 Gun Owners Of America, Rockcastle, Modern Musket, Bladetech, Rose Action Sports, Hayes Custom Guns, Nordic Components, & Boomfab.
You can follow her career online through her Facebook: facebook. com/3gunkatie, and on Instagram: @3gunkatie