By Beth Baumann
Women in Virginia Beach, Virginia are lining up to take Superior Pawn and Gun’s ladies only concealed carry class. In this class, a NRA instructor utilizes gun safety and target practice to educate and empower women.
The classes have become so popular that they book months in advance. By the end of March the store will have certified 1,000 women through their ladies-only classes.
“[There’s] an environment where there’s only women, no judgment, something that’s fun and relatable,” Samantha O’Donald, a manager at Superior, told WTKR. “We had no idea it was going to be as big as it turned out to be.”
More women in the local area are wanting to protect themselves and are looking at concealed carry permits (CCP) as a means of doing so.
“(I want to) take away the fear of even handling [guns] and I want to learn how to protect myself obviously,” said Christine Dennis-Galdo, a class attendee.
In 2016 alone, 7,454 people applied for CCPs in the Virginia Beach Court Circuit, a record for the area.
According to Andrew Goddard, Legislative Director for the Virginia Center for Public Safety, even though more people are owning firearms, they aren’t as safe as they think they are.
“You would expect that if more people were carrying themselves and more people were protecting themselves from danger that there would be more justifiable homicides. That’s not been noted,” he said. “People from gun-owning families are more likely to be killed or injured with guns than people with families where there are no guns.”
Of course, gun advocates, like O’Donald, disagree.
“I think education is the most important thing and when you have people who are well-trained it keeps bad things from happening with firearms,” said O’Donald.
Watch WTKR’s coverage of the story here: