|Updated: 2/28/2012 9:50 pm
||Published: 2/20/2012 2:54 pm
Every week, Regina Pryor has an appointment that she refuses to miss.
"I hear about it. I read about it,” Pryor said. “I feel that they are getting bolder."
Pryor is talking about the alarming number of women recently raped, stalked or attacked. She doesn't want to be the next victim. So she went out and bought a nine millimeter handgun.
“I feel as if I can defend myself if attacked," Pryor said.
For most women, arming themselves with a gun is not their first choice. But with the recent uptick in crime - that's quickly changing.
According to Gun Owners of America, at least 17 million American women now own firearms.
Roughly 44% of women either own or have access to a gun, and each day in this country, as many as 560 women use a gun to protect themselves against a sexual assault.
"A lot of tragic events are happening in our world today and they're happening right here in own backyard."
Tom Dupriest is the owner and lead instructor at Shoothouse USA. He says that in the past five months, business has been booming.
"We're seeing a tremendous increase in women coming to the range on of of their own," Dupriest said. "Women are taking a proactive step to protect and defend themselves. They're not waiting until they are a victim or until a friend or family member is a victim."
Dupriest stresses constant training is critical. The goal is to make one's response to a threatening situation intuitive or second nature. Which is why Pryor never misses a practice session at the range.
"The first intent is to not have to use the gun,” Pryor said. “But if need be, I need to have that skill and ability to use it and use it properly."
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