While not as heavily reported in time past, women are becoming major players in the gun industry and ownership. Contrary to popular belief, women are not stalwarts of gun control politics–they want to protect themselves as any other American. That’s why across the country record numbers of women are lining up to obtain their gun permits. In fact, since 2007, there has been a 270 percent increase in women having concealed carry permits. So, the truth of the matter is that women have always been around guns; it was that no one was catering to their needs, especially when it comes to concealing their firearms. CNN had a segment and story about this last February at the annual SHOT Show hosted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation:
Women are buying handguns in record numbers -- especially weapons that are small enough to conceal.
But they are frustrated by the lack of firearm accessories catering to them. So some are starting companies of their own to tailor products to women.
"I thought to myself, 'Where's all the women's stuff?'" said Lorelei Fay of Boise, Idaho.
Fay couldn't find a suitable holster when she got her own concealed carry license. Her mother had taught her to sew, so she made her own: an elastic belly band with a holster for her Sig Sauer semiautomatic handgun. It also has pockets to hold two backup magazines.
When her friends laid eyes on it, they wanted one too. So she stitched up some of the corset-style holsters and starting selling them in 2014.
Fay called her company Miss Concealed.
Tessa Renaud, an Ob-Gyn from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has also made a business out of self-protection. She got a concealed carry permit when she used to work in the ER because her shift ended in the wee hours and she wanted to be armed when she walked alone to her car.
Renaud started Lethal Lace about two years ago with her husband, Mike, an ex-sheriff and stay-at-home dad for their six kids. They said they sold 1,000 of the products last year, with revenues totaling $25,000 December alone, which was their best month. The wrap holsters cost $58.
Oh, and Fay’s company has also had record sales, especially after the San Bernardino shooting. As women buy more firearms to protect themselves, the number of women-only firearms courses has also increased, like the one Shirley Watral of ALTAIR Gun Club teaches in Naples, Florida:
Watral was kidnapped and held hostage for nearly 12 hours. The man who kidnapped her was eventually put in prison.
Her kidnapper may have been locked up, but Watral remained scared.
"I didn't want to be that person that was scared to death to step out of my house. For years, I was. I lived in fear, even after the threat was gone," Watral said.
Her courage came back when she started shooting.
"I liked it. When I took the class, when I left the class, I felt empowered. I felt confident. I had stepped out of my comfort zone," Watral said.
Now, Watral is helping others do the same.
Lesley Frost attended the seminar that was sponsored by ALTAIR Gun Club. She went because she wanted to learn "more about personal safety."
"Everything you hear about in the news and things that happened, just personal awareness in different situations to heighten that knowledge for myself," Frost said.
Watral remembers when she first took classes. She was one of the very few women in the class. She's hoping the seminars will show women that gun club isn't just a boys club.
Michelle Blaisdell also went to the class.
"I think a lot of women when they think guns; they think only men. I think having an only women class is really great because it gets more girls to go out there and learn a lot about guns," Blaisdell said.
More than 60 women signed up for Tuesday's classes. But there wasn't enough room to accommodate them, so the organizers plan on having another seminar in about two month
If only Cosmopolitan, and other anti-gunners, knew about this surge in female gun ownership, then they wouldn't embarrass themselves by doling out half-baked and fact-free nonsense like don’t date so-called “gunsplainers.”