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Rosslyn Farms woman trains others on gun safety

| Friday, April 14, 2017, 11:25 p.m.

Rosslyn Farms resident Sylvia Bergstedt never shot a gun until she entered the military. Realizing she needed to get proficient rather quickly, she kept improving her skills to the point she became better than some of her male counterparts.

Graduating from Rutgers University with an Air Force ROTC scholarship, she was commissioned and went on active duty, then received her master's degree from the University of North Dakota and served almost eight years as a special agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

She converted her remaining active duty commitment to the Air Force Reserves until she retired as a lieutenant colonel. She also worked as a special agent with the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General and the General Services Administration in Washington, D.C.

Returning to Pittsburgh, she worked for the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and the Department of Energy until fully retiring in 2016.

Throughout her law enforcement career, she has qualified and carried various pistols and long arms and was a decorated pistol marksmanship expert with the military.

“There have been a record number of sales of handguns in the past several years and the majority of those purchasers have been women,” said Bergstedt. “I realized after retirement I could use my experience and skills to help women as well as any beginning shooter to get more proficient with firearms and to provide a public service. I want to do my part to help people understand how to safely handle firearms inside their homes, too.”

Thus, she opened her business — Aim Point LLC. One course she teaches is called The Basics of Personal Protection inside the Home, which is geared for adults 21 and older. It gives individuals the knowledge, skills and attitude essential for the safe and efficient use of a firearm for protection of self and family and provides information on the law-abiding citizen's right to self-defense.

She is certified to teach three National Rifle Association courses as well as gun safety seminars. These courses include the Basics of Pistol Shooting Phases I and II. She offers simulator marksmanship training and the ability to customize any training program.

All courses include classroom sessions as well as range time.

“I am excited about the opportunity to teach safe and responsible firearms use and storage,” Bergstedt said. “I believe increasing the numbers of responsible gun owners raises everyone's safety.”

For more information, call 412- 475-6359 or visit

Charlotte Smith is a Tribune-Review contributing writer. Reach her at 724-693-9441 or

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