KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Gun stores say they can't keep up with sales and gun ranges and classes are busier than ever. They're finding that more people are getting their hands on guns, especially women.
Gun use is typically more male dominated, but women are increasingly showing they want to have a firearm of their own.
Advocates are saying they're seeing a shift and it's not just men anymore who are pulling the trigger.
Women that once felt uncomfortable handling a gun are taking the reigns and picking up a firearm.
Traditionally men use guns more than women but that's changing. Long-time female gun users remember when they were the lone shooters.
"I remember being at gun shows when I was one of five women. When I was out shooting there would be hardly any women around except for women waiting in the cars for their husbands and that type of thing," said Marci Webb, NRA Instructor.
Many women may still accompany their spouse, but now they're joining in. They're purchasing guns just like everyone else in the current gun buying binge.
"We're getting a lot more women coming in with their husbands and everything. They're both picking out guns and everything. They're getting them when we have them, it's just we're selling out of them as soon as they come right in," said Ben Gross, who sells guns at Ranch and Home in Kennewick.
Female gun owners say it's time for women to be just as educated about guns as men are.
"It doesn't matter the gender. Male, female, they need to know how to handle a firearm. You can't just go in, go to a gun show like this or go to a gun store and purchase a firearm you need to know how to utilize it," Webb said.
"Women shouldn't depend on men to be the one to protect them necessarily. Especially in this day and age, I think everyone should be a little more self sufficient," said Cosette Baker, a shooting club member.
As the trend continues fewer women are saying they started shooting because a man introduced them to it, rather they took it up on their own.
National polls say women make up 20-40% of gun ownership, but with the recent spike in gun sales those numbers could be even higher.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 2:40 AM EDT2013-05-21 06:40:56 GMT
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