They are the four fastest guns in the west, and really, all of America. In this Zevely Zone, I take target practice with Gore's Gunners. They are four female deputies with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department who make up the best law enforcement shooting team in the country.
A few months ago, more than 100 law enforcement teams were gunning for them at the United States Police and Fire Championships, but Gore's Gunners walked away with the gold, silver, bronze and the overall first place team trophy.
Let's meet the team:
"Hi, I'm Deputy Danielle Benjamin. I've been a deputy for 21 years and I am currently assigned to provide security to our courthouses and serve outstanding warrants."
"Hello, I'm Deputy Julia Breer. I've been a deputy for six years and I currently work at the Vista Detention Facility."
"Hello, I'm Corporal Natalie Crist. I've been a deputy for four years and I currently work at the Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility in Santee."
"Hello, I'm Corporal Claudia Valencia. I've been a deputy for 11 years and I am assigned to the Sheriff's Weapons Training Unit where I assist with qualifications and also train recruits."
The four deputies aren't gun shy about recruiting for the sheriff's department which is always looking for a few good men and women.
"You can be any walk of life in order to be a deputy sheriff," said Corporal Crist. "We need all walks of life all races, all religions - all of the above in order to be a good deputy."
To be a good deputy, it's not the gun that does the talking, it's the person behind the badge.
"And that is something that we are looking for whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a bartender or a school teacher," said Corporal Crist.
Or a feature news reporter on television? Gore's Gunners handed me a gun.
"This is a shoot off? " I asked.
You want to hang with these gals, you better have something to aim for.
I took on their best: the National Champion, Corporal Valencia with 17 bullets each.
The results? All of my rounds hit the target board, but Corporal Valencia hit center mass every time.
"That's impressive," I said just happy to be along for the ride.
I had not shot a gun in years but these deputies are out shooting every week. Every one of them is a real pistol, which is why their medals are piling up and so is the praise.
"My husband is proud of me, my children are proud of me, my granddaughter is proud of me," said Deputy Benjamin.
Sheriff Bill Gore is so proud of the team he helped coin their nickname: Gore's Gunners. Sheriff Gore invited them to his office when he found out about their win. They say they've received nothing but support. Now they just want to spread a message of empowerment. To anyone who's following them, their message is this: regardless of the sport, don't be intimidated. Give it a try and just keep practicing. With hard work, it all pays off.
If you would like to be the colleagues with these amazing women, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is looking for deputies, nurses, mental health clinicians and 9-1-1 dispatchers. To learn more, visit JoinSDSheriff.net.