Meet Mary Anne Peters, A Veteran Who Started a Successful Business in a Male-dominated Field

Mary discusses how there is no college needed for a high-paying career in the trades that are available now!

Mary Anne Peters is a veteran who is now a successful business owner. She took a different path than most women and has some interesting tips to share about this process. As an armorer in the U.S. Marines, Mary Anne learned the basics about cleaning, inspecting and doing small repairs on guns. After her term of service ended, she then became a mother and worked with the sheriff’s department in southern California for about five years.

“I loved working with guns, but it was extraordinarily expensive to raise children in California, so I got out of firearms, moved to North Carolina and went into the semiconductor industry so that I could afford to pay the bills,” says Mary. “After my children grew up, I decided to go back to what I loved to do and looked at gunsmithing to make a living rather than just have it as a hobby.”

Mary’s fiancé was a firearms instructor for U.S. Customs and Border Protection so she discovered the American Gunsmithing Institute via Accelerated Training Institute in Napa, California. “I was able to take all of the classes online and do them anywhere because they had all of the instructional videos on DVD and you could take all of the tests online, too,” Mary exclaims. “It was a nice, step-by-step process and the school was also very supportive if you had questions.”

Mary worked at a shooting range while she was taking the original courses. Then, about six to eight months later, she finished those courses and started doing the professional course. After her father passed away, Mary received a small inheritance and was able to start her own gun shop, Pro Gun, LLC. She is in the final stages of completing her professional training program. But more important, now, she is her own boss.

Why Is Training in the Trades a Great Choice for Women?

Succeed without college in the trades“There is a huge need for trained trade smiths,” Mary states. “I was able to see success right away because as a firearms instructor and gunsmith, there are fewer and fewer gunsmiths out there. It’s a career I love that also provides security and a great income.”

While Mary chose gunsmithing, there is a demand for many other trades including locksmithing, plumbing, welding, electrical, carpentry, masonry, and much more. Today, you don’t need to spend the money or time on a college education to have a satisfying, high-paying career. With the appropriate trade program, anyone get the training they need and take tests online when it’s convenient for them.

With Mary’s specific trade institute training, she was able to get immediate placement to do hands on training while getting paid. A thorough understanding of trade skills, and the confidence to use them, can lead to a secure career path, enjoyable lifestyle, financial freedom, owning a business, and much more.
“I never owned a business before, and I’m 50 years old,” says Mary. “I had no business experience. I’ve worked retail. I’ve worked law enforcement. I’ve worked military. The online-training I received not only gave me trade skills, it also gave me the tools I needed to actually run a business.”

What Is the Secret to Your Success as a Business Owner?

“I am able to build relationships with my customers so that they trust me to fix their firearms accurately, and I’m not just a part swapper,” states Mary. “They refer others to me, and that’s a great feeling of accomplishment. If you provide valuable, high-quality services, you can grow your business fast.”

What Do You Do in Your Spare Time?

When not running her store, Mary is a long-range shooter and she has also been competing with the International Defensive Pistol Association as a competitive shooter for the last eight years. “It’s a great way for me to actually practice,” says Mary. “When I teach, I don’t get time to practice and shoot and shooting is a perishable skill. I don’t practice near enough, but at least if I compete, it’s some extra practice for me.”

In contrast, Mary also loves to spin yarn, knit, quilt, and sew clothes! She started knitting over 15 years ago. Then, her love of spinning and quilting came after that.

What Other Tips Do You Have for Female Entrepreneurs?

Mary Anne teaching other women.Mary exclaims, “just because a field is male-dominated, don’t think that, ‘Oh, it’s going to be so hard. I can’t do it. It’s going to be really uncomfortable. I can’t do it.’ I found an aspect of shooting that I was really, really passionate about. I liked the guns, but also, I’m an instructor.

I want other women to take their safety and security into their own hands. I’m very, very passionate about that. I want them to feel comfortable. Because I know how it is… classes, competitions, anything, I was always the only girl. The military, the Marine Corps, law enforcement, I’m used to that kind of environment. But I wanted to be able to give women an environment that was less intimidating and where they would feel comfortable and have opportunity, so I jumped in with both feet!

I don’t care if everybody else thinks that women shouldn’t be here. It doesn’t matter. It’s what I’m passionate about… not what they want.

I think that we all need to start being more open-minded and listen. The one thing I notice in the world today is everybody has an opinion, and they’re screaming it at the top of their lungs. They’re not hearing anybody. So, I think if everybody just took a step back and relaxed and listened to what was going on, we’d all be better off.”

There is a lot of opportunity for everyone out there in the trades, especially women.

To find out more, contact Mary Anne or Accelerated Training Institute directly.

Author Melanie Rembrandt is a published author, speaker and content strategy expert who helps entrepreneurs boost sales, awareness and credibility fast with a unique combination of targeted,  copywriting and public relations. For more information, tips and insights, visit

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