It’s not just protection: Why millions of women are buying guns

by  |  published on May 11, 2015

For Elizabeth Harknett shooting a gun isn’t just practice, it’s preparation. If someone were to break into her home, she’d be ready. “If they don’t leave and they just stay there for some reason then having that gun in my hand would make me feel much safer if they tried to come at me,” said Harknett.

She’s been learning to shoot with her father at the Freedom Armory in York County for the last two years. She’s one of hundreds of women who go to the range. “They’re here typically to learn to shoot, particularly to learn how to protect themselves, but they learn it’s a lot of fun,” said Scott Morris, president of Freedom Armory.

Shooting a gun can also take the edge off. The number of women going to gun ranges has jumped roughly 60 percent since 2001 to more than five million, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

“I work third shift and it’s just, you get that ware on your body and the little things in life that you can handle but it adds a weight onto you that you can’t keep off, but when I come in here and shoot it flows right off and I feel like I’ve restarted,” said Harknett.

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