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The Well Armed Woman their slogan is "Where the Feminine and Firearm Meet" advertises stylish purses designed for concealed carry.
Such items may seem odd to some, but these retailers understand their customer base a group of young, strong, determined and armed women. And just because their bullets may be fired from pistols with rhinestone studded grips doesn't mean they shouldn't be taken seriously.
armed young women help spike growing gun
is prepared, but a woman with a gun is scary," said Rachael Makowski, a 25 year old nanny in Westminster, Colo. is the highest it has been since 1993.
In Colorado, the number of FBI background checks for gun purchases over the first 10 months of 2013 433,482 has already eclipsed last year's total by nearly 20,000.
"Owning a gun is just the first step, "Cates said. "Learning how to use it takes practice, courage and determination."
Colorado Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Susan Medina said that the organization does not track the number of guns or gun owners in Colorado. However, extrapolating from Gallup, FBI and CU News Corps numbers, it appears that more Colorado women than ever own guns or have access to them, and that creates a greater need for education about responsibility and safety.
The National Rifle Association maintains a network of more than 105,000 instructors and trainers who offer educational classes dedicated to a variety of gun related topics. According to USA TODAY, the NRA certified 5,000 additional instructors since April 2011 to accommodate the increased number of students attending gun classes.
All three age groups express a similar reason for enrolling in gun education classes self protection.
"Many women feel like they might be unable to ask questions that they think may sound stupid in front of men who have more experience with guns," Cates said.
Gun safety courses have always existed, but Second Amendment advocates argue that there has never been a better time than now for women especially young women to understand how to use a gun to defend themselves.
it's not one or the other I can have all three, so I do."
According to Billy Cates, general manager Lacoste For Women
So, what happens when pepper spray and right hooks don't cut it? That's when guns come into play.
Colorado Gun Dialog
Further, according to data compiled by CU News Corps and provided by 46 county coroners across Colorado, women 18 34 years old, more often than any other group of women, are the victims of gun violence. According to gun educators, women of this age demographic are also the people most commonly enrolling in gun education classes.
at Rocky Mountain Shooters Supply in Fort Collins, Colo., many female gun owners do not understand how to use their guns. If an intruder were to enter their house, would they know how to take the gun off safety? Would they know how far the bullet would travel? Would they know what to do if the gun malfunctioned?
Cates has worked in the gun industry for more than 30 years. During this time, he has helped people learn about their guns and how to safely execute a variety of gun tactics.
Rachael Makowski, 25, owns a gun for both self protection and recreation. She says she feel more comfortable knowing there is a gun in her home. Although she has not taken any formal education, Makowski grew up with guns and feels confident in her ability to use them.
The women taking gun education classes fall into three categories young, college aged women living on their own, middle aged women with families and elderly women who may feel defenseless or find themselves living alone again after their husbands have died.
Brittany Berich, 21, works with Cates at RMSS. Berich joins an ever growing list of women with a concealed carry permit. As part of the requirements for obtaining the permit, Berich took one of Cates' women only classes.
CU News Corps, an investigative news project that operates within the Journalism Mass Communication program at the University of Colorado, has spent much of 2013 tracking Colorado gun deaths.
Another online retailer, Pistols Pumps "Concealed and High Heeled" offers pink camouflage hats and bra mounted holsters.
"He has a great reputation for teaching classes that make women feel at ease," Berich said.
Cates teaches a variety of gun education classes including "NRA Basic Pistol," "NRA Personal Protection in the Home" and a variety of women only classes designed to ease some of the common anxieties associated with female gun education.
That's why Cates is here to educate people and increase the number of responsible gun owners.
A 2011 Gallup poll found that 47 percent of all Americans claimed to have a gun in their home. Of those Americans, 43 percent of women reported they live with guns in Polo Shirts For Girls their homes. In February 2013, Gallup reported that 15 percent of all American women personally owned a gun.
"A woman with pepper spray is smart, a woman who takes self defense Polo Lacoste Blue
Cates works to relieve some of the common anxieties associated with women entering gun education courses.
These women are among a growing population of gun owners who fiercely fight for their right to own and carry a gun for self protection.
"The upside to having a gun during a home invasion is they are loud. My neighbors will hear a gun go off, they won't hear my screams or pepper spray," she said. "I use pepper spray and I've taken self defense. To me Women Lacoste
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