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Gun stores see increase in women taking up arms

Posted at 11:13 AM, Feb 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-29 14:13:24-05

More and more women are sporting a different kind of fashion accessory -- guns.

With more reports of active shooter situations and home invasions, women are adding an extra level of self-protection.

And many, like Holly Sweet, are taking up arms for a reason.

"It's a need and a pleasure now. One, it's my right," she said. "I think the need came first and I wanted to be better at defending myself and my family. So in that regard it became a need."

For firearms instructor Maggie Mordaunt, her classes are now majority women, not just the women-only classes.  

"I'm teaching classes here at the Gun Store twice a month," she said. "We have a ladies only class. I remember the first time I taught it we had 3 ladies and the last time we had 12 ladies."

Mordaunt said there was 51 percent spike in women buying firearms for defense last year.

"They don't have to depend on a man to protect them so they've taken the initiative to go out there and protect themselves," she said.

Gun Store owner Bob Irwin says he's also seen the growth over the past three years. Woman are up to about 25 percent of the store's overall gun sales when they previously had been about 10 percent.

"They wanna have a firearm so they can at least try to defend themselves and if they practice, it works," Irwin said.

Gun owners like Sweet said practicing with other women can even become a great social outing.

"There's a lot of women there now. We have a great support system," she said. "We have a lot of fun going out shooting."