Fueled by crime fears and fading stereotypes about gun owners, women increasingly are opting to carry concealed weapons six years after Michigan reformed laws making it easier to do so, reports the Detroit News. Women may set a record for statewide applications this year, and they’re flooding ranges and prompting training facilities to host “women-only” permit classes. About 150,000 women in the state legally carry concealed weapons; their ranks have jumped from 10 percent of permit-holders in 2001 to 17 percent this year. Women are on pace to receive nearly 4,100 permits this year, close to double that in 2003.
Detroit last week was named the most violent community in the nation, according to rankings from FBI statistics that city officials dispute. Jerry Wrage, owner of Handgun, Shotgun and Training Specialist. said business increases when crime — or perceptions — rise. One woman explained she carries a gun because of “the increase in crime and in the bigger picture, with everything going on with terrorism and politics, we need to all take advantage of our constitutional rights.” Figures vary widely about the gender breakdown of gun ownership, but federal statistics say 9 percent of women own guns. “It’s becoming more socially acceptable,” said Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel.