Yes, the trend is continuing–and that’s a good thing. Overall, there’s been a 29 percent increase in the number of concealed carry permits issued between 2010-2012. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, women in Utah and Washington State are leading the surge in concealed carry permits. Young women in Colorado have contributed to boosting the state’s rates of gun ownership.KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock
So, where else are women exercising their Second Amendment rights? One has to look no further than Texas (via KCBD, local NBC affiliate in Lubbock):
Texas Department of Public Safety Concealed Handgun License Instructors in Lubbock report more women pursuing their CHL than ever before.
This comes after the National Shooting Sports Foundation released study results on January 21 saying more than half of women surveyed said they intend to purchase at least one firearm in the next 12 months.
The report revealed that more than 42 percent of women have a concealed carry permit for their state of residence and nearly 73 percent of women reported having taken at least one training class.
Jay Temple has taught concealed handgun license courses for about seven years as the owner of Straight Shooter in Lubbock. He said the amount of women in his classes has steadily increased.
"Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time," he said, "it is always for protection."
In 2014, Temple said about 38 percent of his students were women and 62 percent were men.
"When I first started doing it, it was more along the lines of you would have a class full of men and maybe one or two women," he said. "Now, it's very rare for me to have any class that does not have at least one woman in there. A lot of times I'll have all women in a class."
Temple said more women take his courses because they are becoming more empowered and want to protect themselves.
His wife, daughter and mother-in-law all have their Concealed Handgun Licenses (CHLs), which he said makes them more independent than other women in the past.
Lydia Hardcastle says she received her CHL at the beginning of January 2015 for exactly that reason.
"I've always known that I wanted to do it once I turned 21," Hardcastle said. "I just feel more, I don't know, I just like feeling protected."
Hardcastle, a Texas Tech Student, said carrying a handgun makes her feel safer traveling to and from campus.
"I enjoy walking around with it, just knowing that it's there, but nobody else knows that it's there," she said. "I don't feel weird just walking from my driveway to my house...sometimes that's creepy for me. I'm a country girl. I'm not used to living in town. I'm in college, so it's nice to know that if anything were to happen that I would be able to protect myself."
Shanna Prince said carrying her handgun has become second nature since she has concealed it for four years.
Lubbock is also the second most dangerous city in Texas, according to FBI data.
Yet, overall, gun-related homicides have dropped since 1993, as have nonfatal firearm crimes. Mass shootings are not on the rise–and the frequency of school shootings has yet to surpass rates of the 1990s.