Concealed Carry On the Rise Among Women

From The Firearms Blog:
by Katie A
December 2, 2014

Over the last week news articles in Olmsted County in Minnesota, and El Paso, Texas have come out regarding the substantial rise in concealed carry permits being issued – with a focus on the fact that an increasing percentage of permit holders are women. It isn’t just Minnesota and Texas, though, it’s all across the United States; the number of women applying for CC permits has been increasing steadily since 2008, but it’s only been more recently that increase has become truly dramatic. In Washington state the number of women getting permits actually tripled in recent years, and in Florida and Tennessee it’s doubled. Oh, and in El Paso? Today there are 8 times more women with CC permits than there were just a few years ago; that’s not an increase, it’s a serious spike. And although an increase in women legally concealed carrying is great – statistics prove areas with good CC have lower crime rates overall from robbery to assault to murder, and millions of crimes are thwarted annually by law-abiding gun owners – I have concerns.

A woman being interviewed about her permit recently admitted the first time she’d ever fired a gun was at her state-required concealed carry permit class, and she wasn’t the only one. In fact, quite a few women fire their guns for the first time during that one-time class, and not all states require the class, meaning there are women with permits and no range time. And although having a permit doesn’t mean they’re carrying, you might be surprised how many are – without any experience whatsoever.

Even the women who visit the range after class often end up only doing so once or twice; the number of women who have told me they’ve only fired their concealed carry weapons on three or four occasions over a span of a year or more certainly gives me pause. After all, there’s more to guns and concealed carry than just getting your permit; that piece of paper – or plastic card if you live in a state like Kentucky – doesn’t give you magical safety and proficiency powers. In fact, the number of women I’ve heard saying a bra holster is a viable way to confuse or startle a would-be attacker is just another piece of evidence when it comes to lacking experience.

Of course, the more welcoming a range is, the more time women will spend there, and the more proficient they’ll become. My home range, TG and G, is fantastic, but there are plenty out there that are less than stellar in their acceptance of female shooters. Many women get excited about guns and get their permits only to hit the range and become disheartened, and although things are certainly improving, the situation hasn’t evened out yet, not by a long shot.

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