Guns and women: A growing trend

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - There is a growing trend across the country and it's being felt here in Charlotte. The number of women buying and shooting guns is growing.

I went to a local gun range where I talked to women and got their thoughts on the trend.

When I visited the Blackstone Shooting Sports range in Charlotte, I found many women shooting at targets. Corey Brausch told me, "It's not something that's just for the boys, it's definitely for us too!"

For many women these days, gun ownership hits the target. Catherine Wells told me, "Fun. Just fun. A sense of relief knowing that I can do something accurately."

Ashton Currie Coonrod says, "Finding a target and being able to have that challenge of hitting it on the dot, you know, that's a lot of fun. And it's a great social thing to be able to do with my girlfriends, with my husband..."

Nathan Davis is general manager of Blackstone Shooting Sports.  He says 30 percent of the membership base here is female and it's growing. He added, "New entrance to the market, that segment is growing all the time. That's ladies, that's people of different ethnicities that haven't generally been involved in shooting sports. That's people of different demographics. So the point is, the new entrance to the market, that trend is growing significantly, while the traditional shooter is, that is somewhat of a declining segment."

Cathy Wright of Chapel Hill is a gun enthusiast and has received national recognition for her support of the second amendment. She thinks there are many reasons more women are picking up guns.

"A lot of women come from a rural background," she says, "and they have used guns all of their life or they have been around guns all of their lives, so it's comfortable for them. It's a nice segue. The other group, perhaps, are the women who are concerned about their personal safety. And they get involved and learn how to shoot a gun, and they're introduced to other guns, and they enjoy the experience."

Corey Brausch is not only a shooting enthusiast, she also works at Blackstone and told me, "It may not be for everybody but it could be something you don't even know if it's for you or not.  I have had new shooters come here and they've never shot a gun before and then they come back saying, I think this is my new favorite thing!"

Cathy adds, "I think there are more women that discover that yes, this is a good thing, it is fun, it's important. And once they try it, a lot of thoughts they had previously to picking up a gun, have gone away."

And the gun industry has certainly taken notice of more women buying guns, whether it be by marketing clothing just for women, or guns with a so-called more feminine look. Guns are now being made in many colors. Including, pink? Really? "I think it's, it's somewhat condescending to think that because they're ladies they would like pink," says Nathan, "but there's nothing wrong with putting some colors out there that might be appealing to some females."

I asked Cathy about the pink colored gun. She said the color doesn't matter at all. She says, "A gun's a gun!"

In addition to more women taking part in shooting sports, there are more female gun-related activities. Take for example Blackstone regularly holds special range times just for women followed by a social get together! So although it's still true more men buy guns than women, women have certainly become a force to be reckoned with when it comes to gun ownership.

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