Girls and Guns

By: Jalah Gray Email
By: Jalah Gray Email

SHERMAN, TX - Experts say at least 40 percent of women in the U.S. either own a gun or have access to one, and the number of women buying guns is on the rise. Jalah Gray takes us inside a concealed handgun class and shows us why so many women are packing heat.

Research shows an estimated 15 to 20 million women in the United States own firearms, and though the reasons vary, self defense seems to be number one.

"There's a lot of crazy people out there." Diane McGrath said.
"My husband was pushing me to learn how to use a gun and hopefully defend myself." said Lois Runnels.

Lois Runnels is going through her first Concealed Handgun License class. She recalls a time several years ago when she wishes she had been armed.
A man that lived across the street started shooting at a tow truck driver trying to repossess his car.
The tow truck driver ran into her backyard. She hid him in her house, terrified of what might happen next.

"We called 911 and it took forever for them to get there and I was afraid that he was going to come in and shoot me, my husband was outside, he was on the lawn mower, he couldn't hear it, and then the guy ran around the back yard with the rifle, pointed it at my husband, and I was just paralyzed." Runnels said.

Jason Webb owns Red River Firearms in Sherman. He says although some women are scared to even pick up a gun, the majority who do, end up being better shooters than most men.

"With guys they got that testosterone, I saw Mel Gibson do it in Lethal Weapon." said Webb.

Diane McGrath says her husband, a retired police officer, even admits she's the better shooter.
She got her CHL about a year ago. She says in this day and age, women can't be too careful.

"I just think that it's good for women to learn how to shoot now to protect themselves, you can't always have a police officer right next to you when something goes wrong." McGrath said.

McGrath and her husband drive from Howe once a month to shoot at the Red River Indoor range, because she says just having a CHL is useless if you're not prepared to use your gun.

"I think if I practice more often, if I continue to practice once a month that I keep that ability to know exactly what to do, how to do it, and how to do it quickly if I need to." said McGrath.

Talking with women like McGrath inspired me to give shooting a try, so I decided to take my first CHL class.
The 10 hour course outlined by the Department of Public Safety covers things like safety, cleaning, storage and the right to defend yourself against imminent danger.
Students must pass a 50 question written test and a shooting accuracy test at a gun range.

So I'm here at Red River Fire range and I'm getting ready to take the shooting portion of the CHL, we'll see how I do.

I qualified with a glock 19 semi automatic, shooting 50 rounds at a standard B-27 target at 9 feet, 21 feet, and 45 feet.
I passed both the shooting and writing portions but instructor, Brad Blankenship, says the most important part comes before you ever set foot in the class.
You have to ask yourself, if the time comes, can I pull the trigger?
McGrath says she has no doubt.

"I believe that I should be able to protect myself, I believe in the 2nd amendment rights that we have that right." McGrath said.

For more information on the CHL and Red River Firearms call

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Gary Location: Sherman on Nov 23, 2011 at 07:49 AM
    Who cares, unheard of..? Wake up SB, you must live in vacuum.
  • by mother Location: madill on Nov 23, 2011 at 07:21 AM
    Belive me if your daughter needed to protect herself from some crazy person you would change your mind about women and hand guns My daughter has hers and I know she will use it if she has to.
  • by grandmother Location: Durant on Nov 23, 2011 at 02:34 AM
    (SB) maybe this story was aired so people like you with your remarks would realize women are taking up for themselves and learning to protect their families.I had never handled a gun or been around one until I remarried and my husband took the time to teach me. Now he is teaching our granddaughters the respect and proper way to handle guns. Maybe since you think it is a crazy unheard of thing it scares you...........
  • by Roxanne40cal Location: Sherman on Nov 22, 2011 at 08:00 PM
    Im a woman and I carry a gun cause there are to many sickos out there, and if I cant get to my gun or my knife, I have taken training in mma and defense... And its great they did this story because alot of woman in texoma dont know where to go for practice or to get a license.. Every woman should know how to take full care of her self even if she never has the need to its better to be safe in case of that one chance...

    And if a womans car breaks down the most unsafe thing and she needs protection, having a gun, knife or self defense... She best know the right ways.
  • by Bub on Nov 22, 2011 at 05:33 PM
    SB, Depends on the leftist and east coast, yea, a big story! If this administration had there way it will be a Felony someday. NOW HOW YOUR REPS/SENATORS/ and well we know the pres. votes on 2nd amendment
  • by SB Location: Durant on Nov 22, 2011 at 01:04 PM
    Who cares about women carrying guns! Is it such a crazy unheard of thing that they have to do a full story on it??? Ridiculous!!!
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