Meet Darcie Murray

Darcie Murray

Born and raised in the Southern Tier of Western New York, Granddaughter of a hunter sportsman on one side of the family and a WWII Normandy Vet, career firefighter and licensed gun dealer on the other, firearms were never glorified or vilified. They were a tool. We were raised to be self-reliant, patient and respectful.  To have perseverance in obtaining an objective and to minimize fear and anxiety by increasing our awareness of the world around us and how to interact in it with confidence. We were taught to approach areas of concern in a levelheaded, practical way rather than succumbing to irrational unsubstantiated fears.

I live in the realm of "what is" not in the world of "what ifs". I do not live in the world of worry. I feel it is a useless emotion that prevents a person from being fully engaged in the present.

As a young person, when I was asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  I had three areas of interest: The medical field, teaching, and criminal justice.  I have been an Optician for 34 years which translates into having the privilege of designing eyewear that enhances a patients lifestyle and provides optimum sight. In my professional capacity, I train patients, every day, about their visual needs and how to best address them. Previously, I was the trainer for new personnel and there is nothing more rewarding than the exchange of information which occurs when insight, experience, wisdom and skills are being shared. Everyone benefits, everyone learns, including the instructor. 

Throughout my adult life, I have dabbled in martial arts, kickboxing and self defense classes. When I moved to Rochester, I began to pursue my interest in shooting sports and to become competent with a handgun for personal defense. For me, it added another item to my personal protection toolbox. Once again, my unyielding desire to become as knowledgeable as possible kicked in and I searched for instructors who would train me how to be safe and proficient with firearms but also who were like minded in the sense that they viewed guns as part of a self-defense system. Dave and Wendy at Rochester Personal Defense, LLC have provided expert and comprehensive instruction and once again my desire to train has engulfed me and am excited to couple that with my youthful desire to protect myself and the ones I love, and to serve others by sharing my knowledge and skills to empower them and enhance their ability to protect themselves.


My philosophy is to cultivate a variety of disciplines and techniques thus preparing myself mentally and physically for realistic possibilities and then trust my training.

Training Experience:

  • 1986. New York State Licensed Optician
  • 2011. NRA Basic Pistol with Rochester Personal Defense, LLC
  • 2014. American Women's Self Defense Association instructor and board member
  • 2015. Defensive Folding Knife 1 from InSights Training Center
  • 2015. Rochester Personal Defense, LLC Instructor Training and Development Program
  • 2015. NRA Certified Instructor for Pistol and Home Firearms Safety
  • 2016. FAST Handgun Instructor for The Second Amendment Foundation's Training Division (SAFTD)
  • 2016. Range Safety Officer rating for The Second Amendment Foundation's Training Division (SAFTD)
  • 2016. Defensive Handgun 1 Instructor for The Second Amendment Foundation's Training Division (SAFTD)
  • Teaching Experience:

    Community Involvement:

  • Girl Scout Leader
  • Cub Scout Leader
  • Office Volunteer Coordinator: participated in Red Kettle Campaign, Salvation Army Christmas Adopt a Family, Relay for Life