Officials in our area said they are seeing an uptick in the number of women applying for concealed handgun permits.
The number of handgun applicants for 2010 reached well over a thousand and as of June 2011, 620 people have applied. Those numbers don't separate male from female, but officials admit the number of female applicants are on the rise.
"We're having more women inquiring about hand gun permits and we're having more women coming down and being finger printed for gun permits," said Dougherty County Sheriff's Department Chief Investigator, Captain Craig Dodd.
Captain Dodd with the Dougherty County Sheriff's Department said people often get firearms when they hear about crime in their area and that fear plays a role in driving up the number of female applicants.
"Women frankly are targets of most criminals," said Captain Craig Dodd, "Criminals don't very often go after six feet tall, 250 pound men. There are a lot of women living alone and they want to have something to protect themselves."
Folks at Dawson Road Jewelry and Pawn have also noticed the growth in handgun clients. On average, they say they service about six to eight people a day.
"We definitely see the husbands or significant others coming in checking saying my wife is going to get a permit," said Dawson Road Jewelry and Pawn Firearm Specialist, Brett Davis.
Officials said one of the best guns for a beginner to get is a revolver. They said the weapon is fairly easy to use.
"A revolver, if it does misfire or jams, you just pull the trigger again and it goes to the next cylinder and fires," said Captain Dodd.
He said the first step to getting a concealed gun permit is purchasing the gun. After that, he recommends taking a course to learn how to properly use the gun. Captain Dodd said when dealing with firearms, safety always comes first.