At Calibers, we believe education and empowerment are the foundation for safe, responsible, and fun gun ownership, and we are proud of our staff’s skill, knowledge, and professionalism. It is so important for women to learn self-defense and to be able to participate in shooting sports. We are dedicated to creating an environment that is comfortable for ladies to learn about firearms and get the training and support they need to succeed.
For top trainer Robin Hopkins, confidence is vital. Robin is a former Marine and law enforcement veteran, and a current New Mexico Air National Guard Security Forces Member. She is committed to providing women with the confidence and education to allow them to explore firearms training and gun ownership in a comfortable and accessible way. We’re proud to introduce you to Robin Hopkins and share a little bit about her contributions to the Calibers team and the world of firearms training.
From her experiences in the military and the police force, Robin knows firsthand what it’s like to find oneself in a life-or-death situation. After being wounded in action while on patrol, Robin seized the opportunity to reassess her life goals and take a more in-depth look at what she wanted to accomplish with her life. She discovered that her passion and purpose involve helping others become the best versions of themselves by finding the power and self-assurance that lives within.
Originally from Arizona, Robin has called Albuquerque home for the last 22 years. After beginning a career in corrections, Robin followed her dream of becoming a police officer in 1998, when she transferred to the Sheriff’s Department in Albuquerque. She wanted to work in law enforcement because of her passion for helping people and giving back to the community.
Though Robin understood that most of her work as a police officer would rest upon her skills and experience, she also knew that being a cop meant being confident about using your firearm.
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"Even though we have the badge and the uniform, I've always known that the handgun was key," she says, "I'd never been in a gunfight before becoming a police officer, but I knew using a weapon was part of my profession."
Robin’s career in law enforcement came to an end after being wounded in the line of duty. That incident prompted her to rethink what she wanted to do with her life and realize she wanted to continue to make a difference. She began to see that as both a firearms expert and a female, she was in a unique position to help other women become comfortable with firearms.
“I’m a woman and a mother, and after my near-death experience, I knew that I needed to spend the rest of my life providing something meaningful to my community,” Robin explains.
“When Calibers offered me the opportunity to work as a trainer, I really thought about what I could accomplish in that role. Could I help women take ownership of their own protection? I wanted to provide them with the agency they needed to feel confident, not just in handling a gun, but in their overall self-defense. Because at the end of the day, whether you’re using pepper spray or a handgun, it’s about feeling secure in yourself and knowing you can do what needs to be done.”
“When I was a marine and a police officer, it never crossed my mind that I could be a role model for other women,” Robin adds.
“But when I began working at Calibers, I saw the larger potential in firearm training and education, and I realized I could make a difference.”
For Robin, the ability to empower women through gun training and education has deeper roots as well. Her experience with PTSD and its associated anxiety and depression helped her see how developing competence in self-defense can help women overcome many of their own fears and anxieties.
“It’s about the mindfulness and accomplishment firearms training can provide,” she says.
“Using a firearm can certainly dredge up feelings of insecurity and anxiousness, but becoming proficient in gun use can also help overcome those feelings and actually amplify confidence and empowerment.”
Robin is passionate about helping others overcome the stigma associated with anxiety, depression, and PTSD. “I think a lot of women identify with those challenges. It’s been amazing to see how the simple act of becoming familiar with the use and handling of a firearm can help overcome those issues so that you end up feeling stronger and more capable.”
“I see it a lot,” she continues. “Women will come to the range feeling nervous and vulnerable, but after I spend time with them, first just by handling the gun and then eventually on the range, a transformation begins. They shoot a few rounds, maybe they laugh a bit, and slowly they find themselves. They tap into their inner strength, and I can see them becoming more confident, more in control.”
“It’s a great feeling to see how these small steps can lead to something bigger,” she says. “And at the end of the day, that’s really where my passion lies: in helping others become the best version of themselves.”
Calibers is committed to inclusivity, and our friendly atmosphere means all of our patrons feel welcome. Our Well Armed Woman training sessions are part of our larger goal of making firearms safe and accessible for everyone. With world-class trainers like Robin Hopkins, Calibers is taking firearms education and training to the next level, so that everyone can explore