Target practice isn't just for the guys anymore. A recent Gallup poll showed the number of women with a gun in their home or on their property has increased to 43 percent, a record high. That's a trend that's made a big bang in the Ark-La-Tex, according to local gun shop owners and shooting ranges.
"They just come in and say they feel a need to protect themselves and they need a gun to carry in their purse, a gun to carry in their car," said Allan Matthews of Cash in a Flash in Shreveport, where gun sales are up 30 percent.
However, they're not just putting them away and forgetting about them. Shooters USA in Bossier City reports a big increase in the number of female clients, from all ages and walks of life. "Twenties up to eighties, nineties. I guess a wide variety of demographics that we have coming in to shoot," said Paul Murray.
Both businesses told us the biggest reason women say they want a gun is for protection. That's something Katrina Stevenson, a long time gun-owner, says encourages her to keep her shooting skills sharp. "The world is crazy now. More women are being victims and I guess they're stepping up and realizing, hey we can do something about this. It doesn't have to happen," she said.
Although most women do pack for protection, it isn't the only reason, according to gun rights groups. Female participation in shooting sports has grown 50 percent in recent years, based on a report by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.