AROUND ARKANSAS– According to a study by the Violence Policy Center, a woman in the U.S. is far more likely to be the victim of a handgun than to use a handgun in a justifiable homicide.
Across the Natural State, more and more women are seeking concealed carry licenses to protect themselves. While gun-enthusiasts think learning to shoot is important for everyone, many of them say it’s especially important for women.
Renee Newman is mother, wife, and an NRA certified instructor. She trains women how to safely use guns, and frequently visits Parker’s Indoor Shooting Range in Rogers.
“Being a mother, you don’t mess with a momma bear. I find that a lot of women have decided if they ever got into a situation that they needed it, they want to know how to use it and they want to know how to use it safely.”
Girls Getting Guns is No Longer Taboo
Cabela’s associate, Richard Jackson said “In the past it was not uncommon for a woman to not want to handle it, they don’t want a handgun in the house, don’t want to deal with it.” But not anymore. Jackson sees more and more women walking through Cabela’s front doors, looking for a firearm.
Jackson said, “They are compromising probably at least 50 percent of CHL applicants that we get.”
According to Arkansas State Police, current and active totals for concealed carry licenses in Arkansas total more than 170,000. Of those, more than 48,000 issued to females.
Jackson said, “They are buying a lot of small firearms because ladies don’t necessarily have the ability or the desire to carry a larger firearm in their waistband like a man would. You got to take a look at the lady, her personal size, her build, her activity, where she is going to carry it, whether she is going to carry it in her purse. We even have garter holsters.”
But for women like Renee, concealed carry isn’t about fashion, it’s about protection.
Newman said, “I will only use it as a tool of a last resort to protect my family. If someone were trying to harm my children or harm my family, I’m going to be that momma bear.”