One Woman's Story

Women in the gun industry are a rare find. I have to admit that I was once "Anti-Gun". When I was attacked at the age of 25, I realized that protection of some kind was necessary, though I still was not convinced that it was guns. I had a fear of guns.

It was when I met Robert Saunders and he taught me about gun safety and protection that the fear ceased. I started working for American Derringer Corporation in December, 1986. Boy how the time flies! I realized after about six months that women needed to alleviate their fears about guns through gun education. Most women didn't have any, or have had very little interaction with guns. In the Wild Wild West, fathers and husbands would automatically teach their wives and daughters protection and that was with guns. This was survival. Now the public feels this is the law enforcement's duty. We are living in a time when violence is all too common and it's okay for responsible people, whether they be male or female to protect themselves. With the increase in population, it is impossible for the police to cover the entire population, so we as responsible citizens need to help with this huge responsibility.

The changing times dictate that responsible citizens have to take charge for their protection. I am a woman and I make guns! I will tell you now that if ever the time comes that I cannot make safe, quality, dependable guns that will help protect you in a defense situation, I will stop making guns. A gun is a tool, just like a hammer or saw. It is there to assist someone when needed to protect against a harmful situation. Guns are not to be taken lightly and education is definitely the key. It took me approximately 10 years working in the gun industry before I was really accepted by the "Niche" world of the firearms market. I have to admit, yes, I got there by marrying the owner of ADC and with his death in 1993, I then became owner. Robert Saunders definitely didn't give me free reign with his company when he was alive.

His main idea was using me for marketing and sales with sexy outfits and such. I am good at that and if that's what it takes to make it known, so be it. However, I am very serious about my company and believe me when I say, Elizabeth Saunders is here to stay, she is. I've paid my dues. I've been sued, lost two sons since Robert's death and almost lost my company with the rush after the Brady Bill scare and then with sales coming to a screeching halt. And it's still tough, tougher than ever. I don't get to be that glamorous "Lady Derringer" anymore. I am constantly dealing with quality, safety, customer satisfaction, and of course production. It's a never-ending battle for a company as small as ours with only nine employees. I want to make a difference and just have a good little honest company that I can always be proud of.

Oh, by the way, "Lady Derringer" is coming back in a strong way! I plan on having my "Lady Derringer" Parfum and "Derringer" Cologne for men coming soon. I will also be introducing "Lady Derringer" Silk Ties. Our new products this year will be our Model 8 or Target Pistol, the .22 Mag similar to the old High Standard Derringer. ADC will also be taking orders for the .45 ACP LM4 Semmerling, the Old COP Four Barrel in .22 Mag and .357 Mag and a new small light-weight Automatic in .25, .32 and .380 Auto. Yes, we are still making the best Derringer on the market. ADC's experience in Derringers is second to none and I intend on keeping it that way. "Lady Derringer" was created by me and I want to say that name with pride 20 years from now.

E-mail Elizabeth with your questions and comments at

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