CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU)– An activity traditionally popular among men is seeing a growing trend. Shooting guns for sport or carrying a gun for protection is becoming more and more common amongst women.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation says there’s been a 77% increase in female gun ownership since 2005.
At Marc-On Shooting’s indoor range, women taking aim at targets is a common sight. Especially on Tuesday nights, which is dubbed “ladies night” at the range.
Chelsea Anderson is just getting started shooting, learning the basics about grip and stance.
“I’m not a hunter and I never will be but I do travel a lot and I want to know that I’m safe when I travel or I am in an unfamiliar area or when I’m in my home.
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Anderson joins the ranks of 5.4 million other women who target shoot. The group cites self-defense, hunting and sport shooting as the top three reasons women own a gun.
Dan Marcon, the owner of the shooting range, says from special gun-carrying purses to pink weapons, the gun industry is making a wide variety of items with women in mind. But at the end of the day, Marcon says gun ownership boils down to safety.
“Women want to protect themselves; they want to protect their families and the safety of knowing how to use a gun if they have to use it,” Marcon said.
Kristin Berg is a lead shooting instructor, she says many classes are now offered just for women. With some focused on conceal-carry and others focused on getting women comfortable with handling firearms.
“The classes are helping women feel comfortable protecting themselves. They are just more confident in their ability to go to the range and not feel like they need a lot of help,” Berg added.
With such an increase in female interest, Berg has helped start a local chapter of the Well Armed Women, a national non-profit that creates opportunities for women to talk guns, practice gun safety and target practice together.
“It’s not exactly book club but it’s exciting,” she joked.
The next meeting of the Well Armed Women is scheduled for March 17. The Meeting will take place at Marc-On Shooting in Chippewa Falls from 7-8:30 p.m.