A growing number of women are arming themselves for personal safety, the Orlando Sentinel says. In Central Florida, shooting ranges reports a marked increase in the number of women taking aim, signing up for concealed-weapons courses, and making purchases. On a recent Saturday, more than 200 women attended a six-hour introductory firearms workshop — an event that keeps growing each year. The National Rifle Association’s national “Women on Target” program has grown from 500 participants in 2000 to 6,000 this year. “Women are the largest-growing demographic in the gun industry,” NRA spokeswoman Ashley Varner said.
“I think it’s more important for women with small children to own a gun because you can’t run when you have children,” one woman taking a gun course told the Sentinel. Two years ago, one in 10 of one gun range’s students was a woman. Now, they make up about 40 percent of classes. Said another instructor: “Having a gun on the nightstand doesn’t make you any safer just by its presence. The customer has to be educated, has to be informed.”