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    Gun Tote’n Mamas from NRA 2018

    Gun Tote’n Mamas from NRA 2018
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    Gun Tote'n Mamas from NRA 2018 from Christopher Swainhart on Vimeo.

    Life is Easier with a Organized Rolling Range Bag

    Life is Easier with a Organized Rolling Range Bag
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    I used to think all I needed to look for in a range bag were a few compartments, strong zippers and a heavy-weight shoulder strap. That is until I tried Gun Tote’n Mamas (GTM) Organized Rolling Range Bag. Wow, not all range bags are created equal. 

    How to stay safe in your 2018 travels

    How to stay safe in your 2018 travels
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    No one ever said travel was easy. But 2017, which featured terrorism, natural disasters and tumultuous politics, has added a new sense of uneasiness. Not worried yet? 

    Cabela's Ladies Day Out! - September 23rd, 2017

    Cabela's Ladies Day Out! - September 23rd, 2017
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    Join Gun Tote'n Mamas as they sponsor Cabela's for their 'Ladies Day Out' in-store event on September 23rd, 2017!! Stop in any Cabela's and take advantage of the great deals on everything from shooting products to hunting products to camping and fishing products. 

     

     

    What Women Think About Guns … and What the Anti-Gun Media Doesn’t Want You to Know By Beth Alcazar

    What Women Think About Guns … and What the Anti-Gun Media Doesn’t Want You to Know By Beth Alcazar
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    At this year’s 2017 USCCA Concealed Carry Expo in Fort Worth, Texas, I had the opportunity to lead a panel of women: five leaders and trailblazers in our industry who have each carved out unique paths but who all fight for the same 2nd Amendment goals. We explored a variety of topics — from working with female shooters to getting friends and family involved with safe firearms — but one question revealed some powerful and poignant answers … the type of answers that the anti-gun media tries to cover up or hide.

     

    How Shooting Encourages Women Empowerment by Karen

    How Shooting Encourages Women Empowerment by Karen
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    Is it just me, or Women Empowerment become really popular discussion topic? What a strong stance those two words alone take. I am 100% sure when women around the world hear those words “Women Empowerment” it makes them pull their shoulders back and hold their head up a little higher.

     

    The Ultimate Mother's Day Giveaway 2017

    The Ultimate Mother's Day Giveaway 2017
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    Top 10 Gun Blogs and Websites for Women by Tatyana Gray April 26, 2017

    Top 10 Gun Blogs and Websites for Women by Tatyana Gray April 26, 2017
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    It's been around 3.5 years since the last similar blog was published.  And not surprisingly, quite a few blogs from back in that day have disappeared or became inactive.  Quite a few gun blogs and websites for women have also flourished since that time.

    Time for a Giveaway!

    Time for a Giveaway!
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    Who is ready for a giveaway? @lindseygray_coltsguns and GTM have teamed up to GIVE AWAY this gorgeous GTM-51 Town Tote in Blue. Which one of you gun-toting beauties will be toting this blue baby this spring?! Valued at $240! Enter to win! ⠀⠀⠀⠀

    A concealed carry Gun Purse that I actually like!

    A concealed carry Gun Purse that I actually like!
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    http://www.FaliaReviews.com - Although I don't recommend a purse as a woman's primary method of concealed carry, there are definite advantages to being able to occasionally carry in a designated gun purse. Although this one (by "Gun Toten Mamas") easily conceals a bigger gun, I also show how well a bigger gun (Ruger SP101) can conceal on-body, with my Crossbreed Supertuck IWB holster.

     

     

    Firearms and firearms accessory makers increasingly consider women buyers

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    The Well Armed Woman--Organization Educates Women On How To Use Firearms

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    Michelle Pickett wants every woman to be ready, when she needs to be, to safely draw and fire her weapon.

    Safety is key at The Well Armed Woman Gainesville/Micanopy Shooting Chapter. Pickett said safety and responsibility are crucial parts of feeling comfortable in a shooting range.

    “It’s all about being a responsible gun owner and keeping track of your training,” Pickett said.

    The Well Armed Woman is a national organization that aims to educate, equip and empower women. According to its website, the company is meant to be a resource “without fluff or frills” for women gun owners of any age.


    Michelle Pickett addresses a group of members at a Tuesday meeting. (Gaby Roriguez/WUFT News)
    “The more we can empower women, the better,” Pickett said. “It’s really important.”

    The Gainesville/Micanopy chapter is stationed at Harry Beckwith Guns & Range, at 12130 S HWY 41, and has been active for about 4 years.

    During meetings the women discuss different topics and go to the range together to shoot. The women are also encouraged to keep a journal recording their progress at the range.

    “If you ever end up in court using your firearm for self-defense you need to show proof of how and when you learned that knowledge,” said Pickett. “Having those shooting journals gives you that option in court to be able show your training and show how serious you are.”

    The chapter, which currently has 144 members, offers 3 different meeting times each month. Participants are aged anywhere from 18 and up, according to Pickett, and many come from different backgrounds.

    “There are some women who have been attacked or been through something really violent or know someone that went through something very violent,” Pickett said. “There are other women who see what’s going on in the news and our community and want to come in and prepare themselves.”

    Kandi Nelson, a member of the chapter, was attacked and threatened on multiple occasions and said that The Well Armed Woman has helped has her in many different ways.

    “Several years ago I was attacked and it had been very stressful trying to associate and get out in public,” Nelson said. “I isolated myself because of the stress, I didn’t know what would happen because I had been threatened more than one time.”

    Nelson’s attack made her paranoid and often times afraid to go out in public. Nelson said after joining the chapter, she is no longer afraid to go out and says she isn’t always looking around to see if someone is trying to get her.

    Nelson is the mother of a 14-year-old and said that her time with the chapter has also made her feel much safer.

    “I feel more confident,” Nelson said. “I know I can protect my son if we go out and he knows that im there.”


    Margot Wintemute proudly shows off her target sheet Harry Beckwith Guns & Range. (Gaby Rodriguez/WUFT News)
    Margot Wintemute, another member of the chapter, said she has had trouble with getting comfortable with her gun and the chapter has helped.

    “I’ve been working on trying to love my glock,” Wintemute said during the meeting. “I just can’t.”

    Wintemute joked as she entered the range, but upon leaving she proudly held up her target sheet to reveal some impressive accuracy.

    “I can do better,” Wintemute said with a laugh.

    The Gainesville/Micanopy Shooting Chapter of The Well Armed Woman meets either on the second Sunday of each month at 4 p.m. or on the second Tuesday of each month at 11 a.m. or 6 p.m.

    2016 TWAW/GTM Pose Contest

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    Shot Show 2017

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    The Biology Behind Shooting by The Range 702

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    There are many reasons why shooting a gun feels so incredibly satisfying. The unbridled excitement, the rush of adrenaline, the extreme feeling of control. Whether you frequent the gun range on a regular basis, or stop in on occasion, we can all agree that shooting a gun brings you some form of satisfaction.

    But have you ever really given much thought to what exactly is occurring from a physiological standpoint? The Range 702 takes a much closer look at the biology behind the ballistics. We’ll examine how shooting a firearm affects different areas of your body such as your brain, your eyes, your heart and even how many calories you can burn during your trip to the range.

    Displaying Artifacts from Trailblazers in the Field of Diplomatic Security POSTED BY KATIE SPECKART

    Displaying Artifacts from Trailblazers in the Field of Diplomatic Security POSTED BY KATIE SPECKART
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    “When I think of being the first woman security officer, what I think of most is I hope I have done the best job I can, and that it will be easier for those who follow.” 

    The first female diplomatic security special agent Patti Morton expressed this hope during a Diplomatic Security oral history interview in 1991. Ms. Morton was recruited in 1972 to join the Office of Security, predecessor to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) in the Washington Field Office as a Special Agent.

     

    Announcing Mabel Mondays! by Vicki Farnam

    Announcing Mabel Mondays! by Vicki Farnam
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    Introducing: Mabel Mondays! Have you ever had a question about firearms or shooting but you just didn't know who to ask? Maybe you were worried that they would judge you. Or maybe you were worried that they would think you were ignorant. 

    Carrie Lightfoot: Drawing from Concealment

    Carrie Lightfoot: Drawing from Concealment
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    Tips & Tactics Sponsored by Cabela's Outdoor Fund

    The ability to quickly and safely draw your firearm, should the need arise, is a crucial component of your concealed carry firearm training. In this episode of Tips & Tactics, firearms instructor and founder of The Well Armed Woman, Carrie Lightfoot, guides you through the basic principles of properly drawing a firearm from concealment under stress.

    Three Things You Aren’t Taught In Your Concealed Carry Course Posted by Brandon Curtis

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    By Robert Farago via The Truth About Guns

    I oppose mandatory firearms training. It violates our Second Amendment protection against government infringement on the right to keep and bear arms. That said, I’ve been impressed with the instruction rammed down my metaphorical throat. Tedious yes, but comprehensive; instructors cover everything from how a gun works to the legal use of deadly force to anger management and firearms retention (added in Texas for licensed open carry). Plus live fire! But the classes don’t cover everything. Here are three things they don’t teach you in a concealed carry class . . .

    Carrying a Gun Makes You Paranoid – At Least at First

    The first time you strap on a concealed firearm, it feels like you’re carrying a Howitzer. Like you’re wearing a T-shirt that says “I’VE GOT A GUN!” Even in states with a gun-friendly culture (e.g., Arizona), first-time concealed carriers worry that a stranger is going to see their gun and confront them.

    Pistol-packing paranoia makes perfect sense. Public speaking is Americans’ greatest fear; we’re hard-wired to be afraid of public embarrassment. (Loss of social status is a thing.) Being “outed” while carrying a gun – especially by someone who’s rabidly anti-gun and/or terrified of guns – is public speaking on steroids. “Oh my God. He’s got a gun! What do you need that for?”

    Even if you live in a gun friendly culture, this fear isn’t completely unrealistic. No matter how much you mentally rehearse a reply to gun shamers or prepare for a police response (the police!), the prospect of “armed confrontation” still creates low-level paranoia (and constant checking of cover garments). It’s not comfortable.

    Exposure therapy is the only “cure” for this paranoia. More precisely, lack of exposure therapy. The more you carry a concealed firearm without being “outed,” the less paranoia or anxiety you feel. It’s simply something you have to go through; a condition that lasts between a week and a month. The trick: go through it. If you find excuses not to carry daily, the paranoia will never disappear entirely. Or you might eventually abandon the whole idea of concealed carry.

    Carrying a gun changes your personality – for the better

    Gun control advocates have this strange idea: they believe that carrying a gun makes a person into amucho macho trigger-happy Clint Eastwood wanna-be.

    Like so many of the antis’ “arguments,” they’ve got it exactly backwards. Carrying a gun make you lessconfrontational. D’uh. Why would you want to engage in any confrontation when any confrontation could lead to escalation which could lead to a gunfight which is something you don’t want to have? Which you could have, now, because you have a gun.

    This confrontation avoidance thought process becomes second nature. You become far lesslikely – if not completely unlikely – to engage in road rage or any sort of argy-bargy with a stranger. Sure there are concealed carriers with anger issues – which don’t disappear when they receive the state’s blessing to bear arms. But that’s not you, a person who took the time to read an article entitled Three Things They Don’t Teach You In Your Concealed Carry Class.

    Another psychological aspect instructors don’t mention: concealed carry makes you more independent. By assuming direct responsibility for your own safety, the safety of your loved ones, and the safety of other innocent life (optional), you lose your inherent perhaps subconscious dependency on the state’s protection. You realize that you are a sovereign citizen.

    I don’t mean that in the terrorist sense of the term (obviously). It’s an understanding that you’re in control of your own destiny in the worst case scenario: when controlling your destiny is a matter of life and death. Which makes you feel more in control of your own destiny at other, less dramatic times.

    Don’t get me wrong: firearms instructors talk (and talk and talk) about the enormous responsibility of carrying a deadly weapon. Fair enough. What they don’t tell you is how good, how right that feels. How it makes you a better person.

    Carrying a gun is addictive

    The only way to tell if you’re addicted to something: remove it and see if you suffer withdrawal. At the risk of giving the antis [additional] ammo to deride Americans exercising their gun rights, I’m going to say it. Concealed carry is addictive.

    Anyone who carries a gun on an everyday basis can tell you about those times when they suddenly realize they’re not carrying one. Like when they disarm to go into Whole Foods, forget to rearm and enter a non-gun-free zone. Crap! I don’t have my gun! They’re plagued by the niggling (at best) thought “what if this is the one time I need it?” Which, by the way, can happen.

    The paranoia/anxiety of having a gun eventually becomes the paranoia/anxiety of nothaving a gun. Traveling to states that don’t recognize your concealed carry license/permit can be an ordeal for a habituated concealed carrier. There are gun owners who won’t go anywhere where their gun isn’t welcome: local businesses, entire states and foreign countries.

    Normally, NGP (No-Gun Paranoia) manifests itself in increased situational awareness: scanning for bad people, checking exits, carrying or contemplating alternative weapons, etc. Gun control advocates believe this behavior indicates some kind of moral weakness or personality disorder. It is, in fact, a normal, natural survival instinct, amplified by carrying a concealed weapon on a regular basis.

    I’m sure those of you who carry have other examples of what you didn’t learn in concealed carry class. Please share them below.

    WOMEN, MINORITIES ARE REQUESTING CCW PERMITS MOST

    WOMEN, MINORITIES ARE REQUESTING CCW PERMITS MOST
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    The results of a study performed by the Crime Prevention Research Center this month supports reports that concealed-carry permit applications are soaring nationally, but particularly among women and minorities.

    According to this story from dailysignal.com, the report says, “In eight states where we have data by gender, since 2012 the number of permits has increased by 161 percent for women and by 85 percent for men.”

    Additionally, the report says, “from 2007 through 2015, concealed-carry permits issued by state and local governments increased by 75 percent faster among nonwhites than whites, according to the report.”

    Some wonder if gun rights will shift more women from Democrat to Republican in the future.

    “It’s more challenging for me to pick a politician that wants to take away guns or prohibit them in any way,” said JaQuan Taylor, a senior at Georgia Tech, in the story. She's also the president of the college group that advocates allowing campus carry. “I vote for the person more than the party, but I usually vote Democrat because they are pro-education. Since I’ve gotten a gun, I’ve begun to look at Republicans.”

    Taylor sees it as a freedom issue, not a left-right matter.

    “It seems like with the push for gay marriage, there is a push for freedom in all directions. That’s a good thing,” he said in the story.

    Lynne Roberts, the Massachusetts state coordinator for the pro-gun Second Amendment Sisters, said in the story,“Women are voting typically on the Democratic side because over the last two or three generations self-defense and firearms were demonized. Women were told they can’t take care of themselves. That’s changing.”

    In this story from nationalinterest.org, billionaire anti-gun activist and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety said all increases in recent gun ownership and concealed carry permits are driven by fear.

    “The rate of American gun ownership has been in serious decline over the last 40 years, so it’s not surprising that gun manufacturers are desperately seeking to tap into new markets and that they’re using the politics of fear to drive new sales,” said Everytown spokesperson Andrei Berman.

    For the full story from the The Daily Signal, go here.

    WOMAN OPENS GUN BOUTIQUE FOR WOMEN

    WOMAN OPENS GUN BOUTIQUE FOR WOMEN
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    Farmville—no, not the online game everyone was addicted to way back in the day—a town in North Carolina, is welcoming a different kind of gun shop. It’s being called a “gun boutique” in this story from wral.com, and the store at the corner of Main and Wilson streets opened last month with the goal of alleviating the intimidation factor many women face when going into a “normal” gun shop.

    Study: Concealed Permits Surge 215%

    Study: Concealed Permits Surge 215%
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    A recently released Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) study shows the number of concealed carry permits in the U.S. has surged by 215%.

    The number of permits held nationwide surpasses 14.5 million, which means “6.06% of the total adult population has a permit.”

    According to CPRC, there was an increase of 1.73 million concealed permits in 2015 alone. This was 100,000 greater than the previous record of 163,000, set in 2014...

    Gun Tote'n Mamas Range Day with DTI, Inc.

    Gun Tote'n Mamas Range Day with DTI, Inc.
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    "We covered safe gun handling, loading and unloading, handgun operating systems, drawing from handbags, grip, stance, sight alignment/picture, trigger press, trigger reset and accuracy. We also covered re-loading

     

    Protection in Action!

    Protection in Action!
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    Concealed Carry Purse Options for Women

    Concealed Carry Purse Options for Women
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    Women who carry a concealed handgun tend to have limited options for where to carry their defensive firearm. Often, women’s clothing makes it difficult for women to carry a gun on their body, if they choose not to dress around their concealed carry rig. The next best option is for off-body carry in a concealed carry purse.

     

    Women Carrying Guns

    Women Carrying Guns
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    Carrying concealed is far more challenging for women than for men, and many women are not able to carry in the same place every time they carry, nor are many even able to consistently carry the same pistol. When a woman wants to carry “on-body,” I explain that she is going to have to conceal a “lump”.

    GTM at the NRA Show Booth #6051

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    Come by and see us and ALL the NEW items for 2016 at the NRA Show 2016. We are located in Booth #6051. We can't wait to see you!

    Personal Safety: 7 Ways to Diminish Your Chance of Being a Victim

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    Posted by: ,

    Personal Safety is in Your Hands…

    1. Awareness

    Every personal safety list seems to begin here, so mine will too. An aware person knows something exists, whether it’s a situation, a condition or a problem. Someone who is aware understands what’s going on in the environment around her.  She feels, experiences and notices sounds, sensations and emotions. As an aware person, you will be alert to whoever and whatever is around you. This will shorten your reaction time should something happen. Don’t be surprised—instead, be aware.

    cerino purse carry

    2. Attitude

    Looking like you know exactly where you are going and what you are doing can keep you from being a target. Walk with an authoritative posture; keep your head high. Acknowledge strangers as you walk past them. Look them in the eyes and give a nod of the head or a smile. If a possible attacker knows you can identify him, perhaps he will pass you by. If someone asks for the time or directions, be courteous, but keep your distance and keep moving.

    3. Visualization

    The body won’t go where the mind hasn’t been. That’s why it’s important to visualize what will you do when you are attacked. Focus on “if, then” thinking instead of “when, then” thinking. Visualize the attack and play it out in your mind with an ending where you win. Having a plan will help you avoid freezing when something happens. Expect the unexpected and you won’t get caught off guard.

    4. Boundaries

    Draw a line in the sand. Distance is your friend, so have a predetermined distance you will allow someone to come toward you. This may be different depending on your location, who you’re with, and the time of day. If someone reaches that distance and you do not feel comfortable, cross the street or change directions. Use your voice and tell them, “Stay back.” Always maintain a safe distance.

    5. Instinct

    Whether it’s gut instinct, women’s intuition, or a sixth sense, many of us have had that “feeling” we call instinct.  When the hair on the back of your neck stands up, it’s your mind picking up on something unnatural. Unfortunately, with society demanding “political correctness,” some women won’t act on their instinct to avoid a situation. When you feel something just isn’t right, make a change. If an elevator door opens and your gut tells you not to get in, don’t. If you’re already on an elevator, and someone gets on who raises a flag, press the button for the next floor and get off. Worrying about overreacting may cause you to hesitate or maybe even ignore your intuition. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

    red-exit-sign-large

    6. Escape

    Be aware of the way out. If you are in a store, doctor’s office or any public building, make note of emergency exits when you enter. When outdoors, if your instinct tells you something is wrong, run straight to a group of people, or head into a building where you can see people. Yell along the way to draw other people’s attention.

    7. Determination

    Should you become a target, never give up. Even if you’re injured, keep fighting. When law enforcement practices training scenarios, the good guy never dies. This helps build the mindset to continue fighting, no matter what it takes. You will win and get home to your family.

    personal safety

    I believe having the proper mindset is what will help me win the day. As mentioned above, I have read many books that helped me get to where I am today. Here is a list of those books.

    On Killing by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

    On Combat by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

    Warrior Mindset by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

    The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker

    Left of Bang by Patrick Van Horne and Jason A. Riley

    The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes—and Why by Amanda Ripley

    personal grossman books

    There is always the possibility you could become a victim. If you expect it to happen, you will be better prepared to avoid it and respond without hesitation. Do your research, put personal safety in your hands, have the right state of mind and stay safe.

    For more articles about personal protection visit other posts at The WON here.

    Women and guns: A growing trend

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    Marcella Robertson, 13News Now
    The group, 757 Ladies Packing Heat, are gathered for lessons at the Colonial Shooting Academy.

    VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Every Tuesday, Kathie Gerber stands in front of a classroom full of women at Colonial Shooting Academy.
    At first glance it looks like your typical ladies night. You can hear side conversations about nail polishes and cute boys, but the women are there for a much different reason.
    The group calls themselves 757 Ladies Packing Heat. What started with just four women has expanded to nearly 100 women. They meet every Tuesday to shoot guns.

    The 757 Ladies Packing Heat Club's Facebook page.

    "This is my second family. This is where I want to come and where I look forward to every Tuesday," said Debbie Robins, a member of the group.
    The women are just a small piece of a growing trend of women owning guns in America. According to the National Rifle Association of America, women are the fastest growing demographic of new shooters.
    "It is the fastest growing demographic in the shooting industry that I've seen, said Skyler Thomas, an instructor at Colonial Shooting Academy.
    Every Tuesday the women work to improve their skills. They learn about safety, how to clean their guns, and work on tactics on the range.
    "It's just so encouraging and empowering. It makes you feel good as a woman that you can take care of yourself and protect yourself and your family," said Robins.
    For many of the women, joining the club was all about breaking into a male dominated sport. For others like Gerber, it was about much more.
    Gerber was carjacked in Norfolk a few years ago. Her driver's side window was down, and within seconds a man was in her car.
    "This gentleman jumped through my window and held a gun to my head and wanted my car. I didn't know if I was going to live or die. All I knew is that I had a gun to my head and at that point I was just thinking about survival," said Gerber.
    The next day she went to buy a gun. Gerber walked into Colonial Shooting Academy to learn how to use her gun, and never left. Soon after that, Gerber started the 757 Ladies Packing Heat Club with just four women. The therapist turned gun instructor says the incident has changed her life in so many ways.
    757 Ladies Packing Heat at the Colonial Shooting Academy
    Many women have stories to tell just like Gerber. Some have been victims of domestic violence, searching for ways to protect themselves.
    "I went through 11 years of it and finally decided to stand up for myself," said Robins.
    The group is diverse and has members in their teens to their 80s. They even have a mother-daughter duo. Joanna and Jenna Washburn joined the club in January. Since then, it has become a priority in their lives.
    "We look forward to it. It's something we can do together," said Joanna Washburn.
    As the group continues to grow, Gerber wants to make sure every woman has a shot at protecting themselves.
    "We're trying to get them all avenues they can use to hopefully save their life one day," said Gerber.
    757 Ladies Packing Heat has expanded tremendously since its inception. Gerber says the second largest growing demographic is senior citizens. They plan to start catering to that group soon.

    Women packing heat: Gun ownership among women a growing East Valley trend

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    Posted: Monday, May 2, 2016 6:00 am

    As the gray, nondescript classroom begins to fill this Tuesday evening, a quick scan of the room reveals two unusual features of this gathering.

    First, it’s immediately apparent there are no men in the room. Second, these women are packing heat. It’s impossible not to notice pistols hanging from the hips of a number of the women.

    The gathering, called Women of Steel, takes place at C2 Tactical Gun Range in Tempe. The classes cater both to women with firearms experience and to those who have never picked up a gun.

    “I think it’s important to know how a firearm works and how to properly handle one,” says Lora DalBo, a range safety officer at Tempe-based C2 Tactical. “And as a female, I particularly think it’s important to be able to protect myself if I have to.”

    Classes meet once a month on Tuesday and Thursday for 30 or so participants to learn about firearms and become more proficient and comfortable in their use.

    Tonight, the women are reviewing the fundamentals of shooting, including stance, grip and trigger control.

    Some instructors say the classes are indicative of a trend: women becoming increasingly interested in guns, whether for personal defense or recreational use.

    DalBo started shooting in the desert with her family—“plinking” as it is commonly called. But soon she became interested in the defensive side of gun ownership.

    Then, a close encounter in the parking lot of a store in the East Valley led to her decision to seek training.

    She was shopping in a big-box store when she noticed someone following her. She began to worry.

    As DalBo walked to the parking lot, the man following her attempted to take her purse. At the time, she said she had no way to defend herself.

    DalBo said she was able to escape the situation unscathed but the experience reinforced her decision to arm herself.

    “You just freeze,” she said. “If you don’t have the training, then you become a victim. I won’t be a victim again.”

    DalBo is quick to mention, though, that lethal force is a last line of defense—and a line she hopes she never has to cross. “The last course of action is to fire a weapon,” she says.

    Many of the women in the room agree that owning a gun isn’t to be taken lightly.

    Debbie Johnson from Gilbert began regularly attending the Tempe Women of Steel nights after hearing about an incident that she says “shook her to her core.”

    “I bought a .38 (caliber) revolver because one of the girls was killed on my college campus in Florida,” she said. “She was raped and murdered.

    “I was going to college, and I had two little boys at the time. I wasn’t going after that without being armed. I was going to be able to protect myself.”

    While many women initially get introduced to guns for personal protection, others participate for the enjoyment of the sport.

    Victoria Johnson, who lives near C2 in Chandler, carries a 9-millimeter Heckler & Koch VP9 pistol on her left hip with two spare magazines on her right. She married into the gun culture. Her husband was an infantryman, and she says she “became indoctrinated” by simply being around him and his friends.

    “It kind of comes with the territory,” she said with a laugh. “If you’re the wife around heavy combat arms in the military, you kind of have to become gun-oriented.

    “I always went and shot with the guys (in the desert) but there weren’t a lot of women involved. So when I found out about the Women of Steel group, I was like ‘Sweet! Girls who shoot!’,” she said.

    “When you go out with the guys it’s kind of macho. But when you get with a group of ladies, it’s fun.”

    Current classes are filled with regular participants, and the group is still growing.

    Heather Glaser, a Chandler resident, also runs the women’s program with Gena Wagoner, the events manager at the Tempe range. Glaser says she has noticed a surge in interest in the Women of Steel program.

    Now with more than 100 members, the number of classes was recently expanded, increasing the program from one day a week per month to two.

    The two-hour program is split into one-hour segments. The first is spent in the classroom studying topics ranging from the basics to advanced skills and mental conditioning. The second is spent training and shooting on the range.

    And C2 isn’t the only East Valley range to notice an uptick in the number of women shooters.

    Caswells Shooting Range in Mesa has its own program, coincidentally also called Women of Steel. The numbers have been growing in that program, as well.

    Paul Abela, who manages sales and marketing and sales for Mesa’s Caswells, notes that shootings in the U.S. seem to trigger the growth trend.

    “With what happened in San Bernardino recently, that was the biggest spike I’ve ever seen in the East Valley in women’s training and the purchase of guns,” Abela said. “Women felt it was on their doorstep … and the response was massive.”

    On Dec. 2, 2015, two terrorists in San Bernardino killed 14 people and injured 22 others in a shooting and attempted bombing.

    The growth in gun ownership among women has also created an upsurge in specialty products, ranging from brightly-colored accessories and clothing to pink and pink-camouflaged AR-15 rifles.

    “Woman shooters are flooding the market, so they’re being targeted 100 percent,” Glaser said. “More women are all-in, so of course the shooting industry is responding with more women’s products.

    “How women dress can have a significant effect on how you’re going to concealed carry a weapon,” Glaser explains. “I can’t wear the same thing as a man wears to carry a weapon. I have a lot more curves, and I wear tighter clothes,” she says.

    Even with the dramatic rise in the number of women learning about, obtaining and even embracing guns, there are still those who do not believe that a woman is well served by possessing a firearm, no matter how well trained.

    Mari Bailey, who lives in Phoenix, is chapter president of the Greater Phoenix Chapter of the Million Mom March part of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. She is among those who believe that possessing a gun doesn’t necessarily make a woman safer.

    Bailey says she carries pepper spray for protection and doesn’t believe she needs a gun to be safe.

    “There’s very credible research that says your chance of dying by gun violence increases exponentially when there is a gun present in your home, your purse, in your pocket, in your car,” Bailey says.

    “That doesn’t make me feel very safe. And, if you have a gun, you need to ask yourself, ‘When I use this for my protection, am I going to hit the bad guy? What if I hit an innocent bystander?’”

    Bailey is intimately aware of the devastating impact of gun violence. Her 21-year-old son was shot to death in 2004.

    That tragic event motivated Bailey to take action by forming the Phoenix chapter of the Million Mom March. She says she is not anti-gun, but she promotes due diligence for women considering the step of gun ownership, including reading research about the risks.

    “It’s important to seek out unbiased sources. If you really look into the statistics indicating that guns make us safer, you’ll find more credible research that shows that really isn’t the case.”

    Bailey believes the best key to safety for all—not just women—is to avoid situations that may pose a danger.

    “Making smart choices will make you safer,” she says. “I have big dogs, I keep my doors locked, and I do what I can, short of carrying a gun, to stay as safe as possible.”

     

    – Contact Eric Smith at 480-898-6549 or follow him on Twitter @Eric_Smith_evt.

    The Top Ten Guns Women Buy

    The Top Ten Guns Women Buy
    Posted on

    What guns are women buying? Well, we know that each woman can only know which is the right one for her, but here are the top 10 choices women are making when purchasing a handgun which can help to narrow the field of options for you. Remember, what is right for one woman may not be right for another, so when making your choice it is important to consider all of the variables that may be unique to you such as, hand size, recoil sensitivity, location and reach of the controls and their ease of operation. Get to a gun store and get your hands on numerous models and if possible, rent or try these models on the range. Trust me, you will know the right one when you find it. 

    I find a number of things very interesting in this list. One, women are primarily buying semi-automatic handguns with a slight majority of them choosing a 9mm. The other fascinating thing is that 3 of the top 10 guns women are choosing are Glocks, which historically has not been known as a woman's favorite brand. These clear preferences help put to rest such myths as; a woman needs a smaller caliber, she should have a revolver or she should have... fill in the blank. You can see by the variety below, that there is NO ONE RIGHT GUN for a woman or any one feature that makes a gun a "woman's gun". Now, I am not nixing revolvers, as both number eleven and twelve came in as revolvers. Many women prefer them and they are the better choice if one's primary mode of carry is in a concealed carry purse. But clearly, women are breaking some of the stereotypes usually placed on them. 

    This list was compiled from data collected from  The Well Armed Woman holster sales for 2015.

    1. Smith & Wesson Shield 9mm

     

    2. Sig Sauer P238 - .380

    3. Glock 43 - 9mm

     

    4. Glock 42 - .380

    5. Springfield XDs - 9mm

     

     

    6. Ruger LCP - .380

     

     

    7. Ruger LC9s - 9mm

     

    8. Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380

    9. Glock 26 - 9mm

    10. Sig Sauer P938 - 9mm

    Other Top Selling Guns Women Are Choosing

    11. Ruger LCR

    12. Smith &Wesson J-Frame

    13. Bersa Thunder

    14. Beretta Nano

    15. Ruger SR 22

    16. Smith &Wesson Bodyguard .38

    17. Walther CCP

    18. Ruger SR9C

    19. Kahr PM 9mm

    20. Smith & Wesson M&P 9

     

    Check out our new resource, gun reviews written by women

    What To Look For In a Concealed Carry Purse

    What To Look For In a Concealed Carry Purse
    Posted on

    What To Look For In a Concealed-Carry Purse

     

    If you’ve made the conscientious decision to carry a firearm off your body, you’ll want the best bag you can afford. Here are three tried-and-true manufacturers of superior concealed carry bags in the industry. Here are some important design features that these companies include in their lines.

    Gun Tote’n MamasFastest Bag Draw on the Planet

    In 2008, Kingport Industries, parent company to Gun Tote’n Mamas, rented a booth at the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show thinking it would be a perfect venue for its leather luggage and leather goods company, and that buyers would glom onto its leather luggage and new wildlife wallet series. 

    “No one bought any of the luggage or wallets, but more than 100 people asked if we could make concealed carry handbags,” said Claudia Chisholm, president and co-owner of the company. She continued, “With so much input at that show, Gun Tote’n Mamas was born and we came back to SHOT 2009 for our real launch.” Chisholm hung the company’s now highly recognizable poster in the booth as the only decoration. It features some of the women of the company, wearing black shades and expressions similar to “Men in Black.”

    “I still remember how our poster stopped everyone long enough to see quality and affordability,” added Chisholm, who said the company still uses that photograph as a testament to female empowerment.

    Gun Tote’n Mama’s bags offer easy, safe and immediate access to a firearm. “It can’t look like it holds a firearm, otherwise the bag defeats the purpose,” stated Chisholm. “And it must be made with quality materials and constructionsuch as seams that can’t rip and zippers that don’t fail.” Nothing can impede the split-second draw necessity, which means the bag’s body must not collapse over the gun pocket.

    The company offers 51 styles in various colors, with 10 of those styles introduced this year. One of the most popular bags, the vintage messenger bag, is co-ed ready and comes in American range buffaloa distressed finish. Watch for a rolling range bag later this year.

    With input from acclaimed firearms instructor Kathy Jackson, it sells what “SWAT” magazine has tested, in a field of six other companies, to be the “fastest bag draw” item (GTM 99) on the market.

    GTM Handbag Draw Expert and NRA Certified Instructor Ruth Bernel with the GTM-99

    GTM Handbag Draw Expert and NRA Certified Instructor Ruth Bernel with the GTM-99
    Posted on

    "

    Many of you have asked what are the string pulls inside our GTM 99 for?
    We were able to catch up with our own GTM Handbag Draw Expert and NRA Certified Instructor Ruth Bernel. Ruth shows us two ways to open that bag in SECONDS - using the string pulls and using your thumb! Watch where Ruth's hand is on the shoulder strap prior to and during the draw. You must be able to stabilize the bag for such a fast RIP.
    PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE to see and feel the difference! 

    GTM/QMF-20 Cross Body Quilted Sac from Personal Defense World

    GTM/QMF-20 Cross Body Quilted Sac from Personal Defense World
    Posted on

    It’s tough to carry a firearm concealed all day. After choosing a firearm that balances weight with power and capacity, you have to find a carry system that is comfortable, sturdy and won’t allow the gun to “print” through your clothing. Luckily the holster industry is booming with new products to help women carry their CCW firearms concealed at all times without sacrificing safety or style. 

     

    The Concealed Carry Purse

    The Concealed Carry Purse
    Posted on 1 comment
    The Concealed Carry Purse, people either love them or they hate them. To carry your firearm in a concealed carry purse is your decision to make and there is no right or wrong answer. What there is though, is what is recommended. You are an intelligent woman who can consider all of the information, the risks and the pro's and con's and make an intelligent decision for yourself if a concealed carry purse is right for you. Why do so many fiercely counsel against this popular mode of carry? Likely for two reasons. One, there is serious risk anytime our guns are not on our bodies and two, it limits our ability to respond as quickly as possible and those seconds could count! These are very real issues that must be considered and consciously accepted by you when making the decision to holster your gun in a concealed carry purse. I trust you will do this. 

    The Ultimate Accessory! The GTM-51 Town Tote

    The Ultimate Accessory! The GTM-51 Town Tote
    Posted on

    GTM-51 TOWN TOTE ORANGE 

    $235.95

    https://guntotenmamas.com/products/gtm-51-town-tote-orange

    PATENT PENDING
    Ostrich Pattern Debossed American Cowhide

    • Tested with following:
      • Sig Sauer P229 (40 cal)
      • GLOCK 23 compact (40 cal)
      • GLOCK 27 subcompact (40 cal)
      • GLOCK 30S subcompact (45 cal)
      • Smith & Wesson 38 Special revolver "snub nose"
      • Sig Sauer P238 (.380 cal)
      • Sig Sauer P938 (9mm)
      • Ruger LCP (9mm)
      • Smith & Wesson Body Guard (.380 cal)
      • Smith & Wesson M&P Shield (9mm and in 40 cal)
    • PLEASE PRACTICE drawing with UNLOADED gun!!
    • American debossed Ostrich pattern cowhide
      • Becomes softer with use
      • Durable
      • Ages to darker patina
      • Trimmed with full grain Tan American Cowhide
    • Designed for either Left or Right handed use
    • Special padding to prevent gun imprinting
    • SLASH RESISTANT SHOULDER STRAP
      • 11 Ply steel wire tastefully reinforced
      • Cross Body length
      • Easily clips on or off
      • Width helps disperse bag weight
      • Adjustable
    • 2 additional top carry handles option
    • Outside back zippered pocket
    • Inside extra zipper pocket and storage for Smart phones, lipstick, Pepper Spray etc.
    • Includes our Standard Holster (designed by Mernickle Holsters)
    • Gold color metal hardware and zippers
      • Gun compartment zippers are nylon coil for safety
    • Fully lined with Gun Tote'n Mamas logo lining
    • Overall bag size:
      12" Wide x 10 - 1/4" Tall x 5 - 1/4" Deep
    • GTM compartment size: 9" Wide x 7 - 1/2 " Tall
    • Zippered opening: 6 - 1/4" Tall
    • Gun footprint area: 7 - 5/8" Wide x 6" Tall

    Remington Releases its RM380 Micro Pistol see with the GTM-51

    Posted on

    Remington Releases its RM380 Micro Pistol
    by Barbara Baird - Tuesday, November 3, 2015

    Remington Releases its RM380 Micro Pistol

    “Trust, but verify.”

    Although The Gipper (aka, Pres. Ronald Reagan) said those words in reference to the Soviet Union, they also apply to any gun you intend to use for self-defense. The Remington RM380 Micro Pistol passed its trust qualification with flying colors for me earlier last year, out in the desert at Gunsite Academy.

    I shot it again recently, in West Virginia, and afterward I sat down with the engineer who developed the gun to find out why Remington wanted to create this firearm, which will appeal to the burgeoning women’s market.

    “We didn’t set out to make a gun that was a ‘woman’s’ or a ‘man’s gun,’” said Daniel Cox, Senior Product Manager for Handguns, “but I do have a very petite wife who tends to carry a very small gun that she struggles with … so I took the opportunity to see the things firsthand—small caliber, double action, lightweight, slim and heavy slide racking—that all equate to a gun that can be vicious to shoot.”

    “It was clear to me what my wife’s problems with a small gun were, and then, talking to women in the industry, they all seemed consistent,” added Cox. “Everything that makes this gun more user friendly for anybody that doesn’t have the upper body strength or hand dexterity that sometimes a larger guy has, it’s all better for them. It doesn’t detract from the usability for a guy like me, either,” he continued.

    At the West Virginia shoot, we fired a few rounds downrange, but at the aforementioned desert outing, we shot those little pocket pistols in Gunsite-directed drills for two days. One among us even fail-tested it, and it wore out his trigger finger before we saw any failure from the gun. Indeed, Remington’s engineers claim the gun will handle at least 7500 rounds—at least 2.5 times longer than the average pocket pistol.

    Here’s why.

    The RM380 comes in all-metal construction with a light double-action-only (DAO) trigger. Lefties will appreciate the ambidextrous magazine release, and if you want, you can replace its grip panels for further customization. While on the subject of the grip, the angle and ample checkering worked well for the other women and for me. The guys certainly hit their targets in good, tight groups and never complained that their guns slipped away from them—which makes me think Remington found a great middle-of-the-road-pleasing carry gun here.

    The RM380 comes with a slightly extended beavertail, which also kept my hand on the grip and especially made it easy to find an accurate hold when drawing from a holster. The trigger guard—designed and undercut so that a shooter can hold on higher on the front strap—also contributed to being able to maintain a firm grip on this gun.

    Features like a 2.9-inch 416 stainless steel barrel (the longest in its class) and aluminum frame (in all-metal construction) make this firearm particularly appealing for hot-weather carry. And the sights? Low lying and snag free, they are what you would expect on a micro carry gun.

    Petite women and some seniors will appreciate the light force it takes to rack the slide back, and when you’ve fired the last round, the slide stays back. No guessing required as to whether you’ve emptied the magazine and cleared the chamber. You can check easily. You can also pull the slide back easily, thanks to the wide, positive cocking serrations. The grip handles can be replaced.

    Also, the RM380 weighs 12.2 ounces and comes with an angled trigger with a 10-pound trigger pull. The magazine holds 6 rounds.

    The tests

    We shot the RM380 from 3, 5 and 7 yards in speed drills, in a competition shoot-off at about 15 yards and in several stimuli drills. If the bullet flew off the center of mass, I knew it meant operator error on my part—moving and not adjusting my aim properly, which is something I need to work on.

    We also performed the Dozier drill at about 15 yards, where we had to shoot at four opponents quickly. The opponents—pepper poppers of steel—kept going down faster and faster, as we improved our abilities to hit and move on.

    We also spent time in the shoot house, learning to clear it room by room and looking for the "bad guy." Talk about a wee bit of pressure, with the instructor’s hand always on the shooter’s shoulder and danger around every corner.




    The RM380 is also available with a Micro Crimson Trace red laser, for $609.

    Why Women Are Buying More Guns

    Posted on 1 comment

    Why Women Are Buying More Guns 

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/12/24/why-women-are-buying-more-guns.html

    By Keli Goff
    Gun control’s a little down in the polls, and gun sales are up. Why? Because more women are packing heat.
    A recently released New York Times/CBS poll included headline-grabbing findings about America’s evolving attitudes on gun control. The poll found that the number of Americans supporting a ban on assault weapons is 19 points lower today than it was after the shooting of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and others in 2011.
    Perhaps more significant, it found that the number of Americans supporting stricter gun control in general has slipped 7 points in just two months. While these numbers may come as a surprise to many, they shouldn’t, because in the last few years the backbone of the gun control movement has been undergoing an evolution of its own. More and more women are buying guns. As the number of female gun owners has risen, so has the number of women expressing skepticism of gun control.
    More than a third of the women who participated in the National Sports Shooting Foundation’s most recent survey identified as new gun owners. This data are consistent with those of other organizations, including the National Sporting Goods Association. According to the NSGA’s Annual Sports Participation Report, the number of women who practice target shooting increased nearly 36 percent (from 4.31 million to 5.86 million) between 2004 and 2014, while the number of women participating in hunting increased 23 percent (from 2.68 million to 3.3 million). In response to a request for comment, an NRA spokesman reported tracking a 77 percent increase between 2004 and 2011 in the number of women who own firearms.

    Historically there has been a significant gender divide on the issue of gun control. But according to a 2012 Pew Research Center report, there was a 9 point increase in the number of women declaring their support for gun rights between 2008 and 2012. Experts believe there is a connection between more women feeling empowered by gun ownership and shifting their perspective on gun control.
    “Gun control has almost nothing to do with ensuring the bad guys don’t have guns. Women increasingly seem to be understanding this,” wrote Republican strategist Cheri Jacobus in an email.
    For years the movement for gun control has been driven by women leaders and supporters. The Million Mom March that took place on Mother’s Day 2000 was one of the most significant milestones in the modern-day gun-control movement. Founded by Donna Dees Thomases in the aftermath of the shooting of children by a white supremacist in Grenada Hills, California, the movement built momentum that resulted in a number of legislative wins for gun-control supporters. Advocacy by Million Mom March chapters is credited with tougher gun laws being passed in states from Arizona to Maryland to New York, where Republican governor and current presidential candidate George Pataki signed some of the nation’s strictest gun laws just months after the Million Mom March.
    So what happened to the Mom-mentum?
    In a phone interview Dees Thomases disputed the notion that gun-control supporters have lost ground or lost the support of women in the 15 years since their triumphant march. She pointed to the Million Mom March activists and alums now serving in elected office (at least three currently), not to mention others whose volunteerism for candidates supportive of gun control swung elections. “They threw a lot of rascals out of office,” she said. “People didn’t leave the march and go home and do nothing. We left that march and got sweeping reform passed.”
    She also said that polling data on guns can be misleading, with the phrasing of questions often being key to which way responses tilt. She did concede that the female faces of the gun control movement have lost visibility in media, but she believes they’ve had little choice. “The question is not why we went away,” she corrected me, emphatically noting they have not, “but why we’re not visible.” According to Dees Thomases, in the social media-driven age it is much tougher to be a gun-control activist—particularly a female one. “All women activists on this issue at some point are harassed,” she said. “They try to publish your phone number and addresses,” she said of gun-control opponents. As a result female supporters of gun control have not been as widely represented in media in recent years, which may be having an impact on public perception of the issue.
    Colette, a New York-based mother, gun owner, and volunteer with New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, thinks so. In an email exchange she wrote that her “activism was spurred due to the fact that as a group, American gun owners largely reject the NRA (only 6 percent of gun owners are NRA members) — and I felt nothing would really change until average gun owners were better represented both in the media and in the halls of Congress.” While she grew up with guns, anecdotes from friends and acquaintances nationwide indicate to her that gun ownership among women in general has been increasing in recent years. But in her immediate social circle support for gun control has been increasing as well. Though she decided to become a gun-owning gun-control activist following the Sandy Hook shooting, she said, “I’ve received more inquiries in the past three months or so that sound like ‘Tell me what I can do’ than in the past three years.”
    Perhaps the real question is why are more women buying guns?
    Bill Brassard, a spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, cited the growing influence of celebrities in the sports shooting world such as Eva Shockey, Julie Golob, and Jessie Duff, but most of those interviewed for this piece said more women are gravitating to firearms for the same reason most people have historically: to protect themselves. Cheri Jacobus, the Republican strategist, argued that as women establish more independence in every sphere of their lives, it is only natural that personal protection would be part of that evolution. Citing the heroism of some of the female teachers during Sandy Hook she said, “Gone are the days when women look to men to keep them safe.” She continued, “Female head of households and single professional women rely on themselves for economic security and now for physical security, as well.”
    She concluded, “Our new motto may just be ‘If you see something, say something. But make sure you’re packing heat and have good aim.’”

    Concealed Carry Purses Are the New Hermès Birkins It's the bag trend you never saw coming.

    Posted on

    By Charles Manning
    Feb 5, 2016

    Concealed Carry Purses Are the New Hermès Birkins

    http://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/fashion/news/a53281/concealed-carry-purse-trend/?src=social-email

    It's the bag trend you never saw coming. 

    The hottest trend in bags right now isn't fringe or studs or prints, it's guns. Specifically, purses designed to conceal guns.


    GUNTOTENMAMAS.COM
    According to Google, about 74,000 people search for the term "concealed carry purse" every month. That is the same number of people who look for "Hermès Birkin."

    Concealed carry purses are most popular in North Carolina, followed closely by Texas, Ohio, Georgia, and Florida.

    It's a relatively new trend, popping up on Google's radar for the first time in 2011, but it has seen a dramatic increase in the last couple months at the same time that gun sales across the nation reached record highs following the mass shooting in San Bernadino, California, and President Barack Obama's subsequent calls for more restrictions on gun sales.


    Searches for "concealed carry purse" on Google return results ranging from mainstream designers like Coach and Michael Kors to specialty websites like The Well Armed Woman, Gun Goddess, and Gun Tote'n Mamas, with styles ranging from totes to cross bodies to fanny packs.

    "Conceal Carry Belt Pack is designed for active women," reads the product description for a pink camo fanny pack on TheWellArmedWoman.com. "There is plenty of room for your handgun, 2 magazines and even your phone. You can be both safe and fashionable while shopping, walking, and more. Wear with your belt or use the belt strap included. Adjust belt strap and wear cross body too."

    And, of course, there are also concealed carry purse accessories, like the Swarovski crystal-studded purse hook from GunGoddess.com. "Do you carry your firearm in your purse? Then you definitely want to keep it in front of you and in sight, rather than hanging on the back of a chair," reads the product description. "Even if you don't carry, this sparkly hanger gives you the peace of mind that comes from keeping your purse constantly in view."

    So, yeah. Concealed carry purses. They're huge. At least now you know what to get the bride at your next camo-themed wedding. Because, those are a thing too. Oh, yes. What a time to be alive.

    With additional reporting by Christine Bettlach Anderson.

    As Gun Control Rhetoric Rises, Shooting Range Patrons Worry About Losing Rights – And Their Fun

    Posted on

    BY

    CENTENNIAL, Colorado -- Marc Rabinoff lines up the paper target in the sites of his Wilson Combat 9 mm handgun and squeezes the trigger. “I love doing this,” he says as the shot echoes around the shooting range. “It’s a great feeling when you hit that target. It’s an accomplishment.”

    Rabinoff is engaged in target practice in one of eight V.I.P. lanes at Centennial Gun Club. At 35,000 square feet, the $10 million, 2-year-old facility is Colorado’s largest shooting range and among the biggest in the country. It offers the sort of upscale amenities that have led some to label it a "guntry club." Patrons can rent a sleek boardroom for corporate gatherings. The 5,000-square-foot gun shop offers “Gun Tote’n Mamas” concealed carry purses and other items marketed to women, who make up 35 percent of the operation’s clientele. And Rabinoff pays a hefty membership fee to frequent the Statesman’s Lounge, an exclusive section of the range -- accessible via a retina scan -- where professional athletes and other luminaries enjoy private lockers, a cigar bar, a pool table and a private shooting range.

    Lately, business at Centennial Gun Club has been booming, as it has at other shooting ranges nationwide. Ever since the terrorist attacks in Paris last month, the gun club has been welcoming roughly a thousand people a day on the weekends and 600 daily during the week. That amounts to 30 percent more traffic than usual. And this week, CEO Richard Abramson says he’s received three calls from local corporations that are interested in security training classes.

    “I’ve never had those calls before,” says Abramson. “I think we are seeing a lot of people buying guns out of fear.”

    Never mind that Colorado is still reeling from a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs late last month. The incident left nine people wounded and three dead. The state was already known for two of the country’s worst gun massacres: the 1999 Columbine High School shooting and the 2012 Aurora movie theater shooting. Never mind that over the past few days President Obama and a front-page New York Times editorial suggested the answer to such bloodshed was less civilian access to firearms, not more. And never mind reports that the San Bernardino attackers frequented shooting ranges, which suggests that some of these operations could be used to train potential mass killers. As in the rest of the country, where gun sales have reached record highs, more people than ever in Colorado are embracing the world of firearms. And in places like Centennial Gun Club, they’re finding that guns offer not just protection but also escape, empowerment and, above all, personal enjoyment.

    The situation hints at the difficulties ahead for those who aim to restrict gun ownership in a nation of approximately 100 million gun owners: How do you implement gun control when you’re not just talking about taking away attack weapons but also an integral part of many people's lives?

    Zen of Shooting

    Rabinoff first picked up a firearm three years ago, after a lifetime of being afraid of guns. One of his sons was enrolled at Columbine Middle School during the 1999 mass shooting, and his other son nearly attended the 2012 “Dark Knight Rises” midnight movie screening where James Holmes killed 12 people. They encouraged their father to look into defending himself. Little did they know just how thoroughly Rabinoff, a retired sports and human performance professor and self-described “liberal Democratic New York Jewish kid” would become enmeshed in gun culture. Now, he shoots at the Statesman’s Lounge several times a week, has taken nearly all of the Centennial Gun Club’s many training courses and is armed with his Wilson Combat 9mm, with a bullet in the chamber, wherever he goes. His wife, Diana, has become a gun aficionado too; she has a pink camouflage AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, and they both compete in a variety of shooting matches each month.

    “This is what we wanted to do with our retirement,” says Rabinoff with an accent that hints at his years growing up in the Bronx. “Other people take trips around the world. We shoot guns.” Shooting is something they can enjoy together and with like-minded friends, like playing tennis without having to worry about the weather or skiing without bothering with long winter drives into the mountains. But it’s also the ultimate calming activity, they say. All their minor troubles melt away when they’re looking down the sites of a locked-and-loaded weapon. “When I come here, I have to concentrate,” says Rabinoff. “You are not allowed to be distracted.”

    Finally, in a world where technology has made nearly everything easy and convenient, there’s something galvanizing for them, something intoxicating, about the ultimate responsibility that still comes with properly handling a firearm. “You take the gun out of its holster, you point the muzzle and you pull the trigger – it is 150 percent you,” says Rabinoff. If you don’t know how to use a gun, it’s a pretty dangerous tool. If you know how to use a gun, it’s a great tool.”

    Knowing that they’re armed and properly trained in something so formidable and deadly when they go shopping or out to dinner is a potent feeling. “I feel empowered when I walk through the mall,” says Diana. “It’s just addictive, that’s what it is.”

    These aren’t the only reasons people fill Centennial Gun Club’s 28 firing lanes day after day, honing their skills far beyond simple practical purpose. Some are drawn to the historical aspects of gun culture, including Bart Miller, the range’s head gunsmith, who’s quick to show off his prized 400-year-old Japanese matchlock musket, his oiled, calloused hands tracing its intricate etchings of bounding rabbits and samurai helmets. Others come for the social opportunities, like those who flock to the ladies night gatherings that draw 100 women a month. And still others come with a sense of responsibility, a belief that the Second Amendment isn’t just a privilege, but a duty. It’s why 500 people have recently been attending a church security training course at the range.

    Since the San Bernadino shooting last week, however, the Centennial Gun Club’s management has been concerned about another potential reason for folks visiting the range: practicing for nefarious purposes. “It’s absolutely a concern,” says CEO Abramson, a soft-spoken, genial fellow. He notes that according to the U.S. State Department, visitors from certain countries aren’t allowed to visit shooting ranges, and his operation collects identification from everyone who shoots there. Still, he says, “I am talking to our local sheriff about what additional screening can be done. We don’t have a good answer right now, but we are certainly looking into it to see what options there are.”

    Bridging the Divide

    For people like Rabinoff and his wife, it’s not just that gun control advocates want to restrict their access to firearms, it’s also that these outsiders don’t know the first thing about the gun culture they’re so concerned about – nor do they attempt to learn about it. Rabinoff bristles when folks confuse gun clips and magazines, mistakenly call an AR-15 an assault weapon, and act like having a thousand rounds of ammunition in your house is unhealthy. (Rabinoff and his wife easily burn through that much in a typical month of competitive shooting.) He hates that people like Michael Bloomberg and Oprah Winfrey say he shouldn’t be able to defend himself, when they’re protected by a phalanx of armed security. And he’s frustrated by gun violence measures that position gun owners like himself as a liability rather than a resource. That includes the creation of gun-free zones that he thinks do nothing other than make such locations “soft targets,” as he puts it, for violent extremists.

    While he shoots for the fun of it, the polarization of the gun debate has impacted Rabinoff’s personal politics. He won’t vote for Obama, Hilary Clinton or anyone else who’ll “take away our right under the Second Amendment of the Constitution to protect ourselves.” And while he doesn’t agree with every position espoused by the National Rifle Association, he’s now a card-carrying NRA member because “they’re the only ones doing the work in Congress to keep my rights.”

    And while he believes proper firearms education is of utmost importance – he’s offered to pay for people’s training classes when he heard they purchased a gun without learning how to properly use it – his frustration with the government’s handling of gun issues has reached the point where he’s against federally mandated firearm training. “I don’t trust the government to come up with how much training you have to have,” he says.

    Bridging the divide, culturally and politically, between pro- and anti-gun advocates might therefore seem impossible. But Rabinoff is at least willing to give it a shot. It’s why he’s happy to open up about his newfound love of guns to anyone who will listen. It’s why he’s more than happy to bring guests into the exclusive confines of Statesman’s Lounge and let them take a few shots with his $4,000 handgun, letting them feel for themselves the difference between firing one of his preferred polymer-coated bullets and the standard full metal jacket variety.

    As the casings fly and the smell of gunpowder fills the air, Rabinoff grins infectiously.

    “You gotta admit this is fun,” he says.

    If folks on the other side of the gun debate are willing to admit that, maybe there are other things they can all agree on, too.

    A great review of the GTM-14

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    PLENTY OF SPACE+QUALITY LEATHER

    I purchased this GTM "Urban" bag about 4 years ago. It was the first of two more, later GTM purchases. It's very roomy and easy to organize your personal items. If you carry a full-size, stainless steel pistol, you may find that the velcro holster does not adhere to the pocket backing 100% of the time. I have two of the Raven bags and love them but, even with what little personal items I must have with me, that bag's weight takes a toll on the top of my shoulder (I always wear my bags cross-body; anyone who just pops the strap over their shoulder is sending a silent invitation to lose that bag very quickly. As far as GTM's bags go, I would not buy one made by any other company. GTM makes and sells a solid, very reliable product and they stand behind those products with outstanding customer care.

    Gun Tote'n Mamas: Not Just For Women Anymore!

    Gun Tote'n Mamas: Not Just For Women Anymore!
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    by Wendy LaFever - Wednesday, January 20, 2016

    With a name like Gun Tote'n Mamas​, you fully expect to see a variety of handsome and stylish concealed-carry purses on display. Gun Tote'n Mamas is branching out to include men and women with their new messenger bag, which is now available. At the 2016 SHOT Show, we had the chance to get a preview of this terrific new unisex bag. Explains Brand Manager Travis Ferguson, "We're expanding this year into a line featuring distressed buffalo leather, which is both fashionable and very durable."

    ​The bag is roomy enough to accommodate just about anything you might need for business travel, including standard-sized laptops, your smartphone and notebooks. The concealed-carry compartment is subtle enough to not draw attention to your self-defense firearm while still being instantly accessible to the wearer. One concern that many folks have about off-body carry is the worry that a thief may attempt to cut a bag's straps, but the Gun Tote'n Mamas messenger bag features steel-reinforced straps that will keep your valuables right where they belong--on your shoulder! 

    Perhaps the best news for concealed-carry enthusiasts? The bag not only protects your wallet from thieves...it also keeps it fat. This sturdy, quality bag will retail for just $209, a veritable steal.

    Shot Show 2016 Mykel Hawke with Gun Tote'n Mamas

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    We were so excited to spend some time with Mykel Hawke. Mykel is a giant supporter of the GTM/CZY-03! MYKEL HAWKE is a U.S. Army Special Forces "Green Beret" combat veteran with over 20 years of combined military, government contracting, and survival experience.  He is the star of The Travel Channel's series LOST SURVIVORS and formerly starred in Discovery Channel's hit shows, Man Woman Wild and One Man Army (Discovery Channel), as well as The Outdoor Channel's, Elite Tactical Unit.  Hawke is the bestselling author of a language book, two critically acclaimed survival manuals to include Hawke's Special Forces Survival Handbook, and has a new survival book and kit for kids. He is also co-author of the Jake Tyler thriller series, which is based on his personal experiences.  He is the founder and President of Hawke Brand ®—his own brand of survival knives and products, and a survival school. Hawke supports veterans and veterans causes as well as many humanitarian organizations.

    2016 Shot Show (From the Firearmsblog.com)

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    This year I was fortunate enough to have my wife attend with SHOT with me (though she was in a buyer role), and she asked why there was hardly any coverage on products for the ladies. Well, sheesh, good point.

    Her biggest issue is finding a concealment option that will work well as a purse. Women’s business clothing is apparently not as concealment friendly as my cargo pants with a flannel shirt, and so she would like to have the option to carry in her bag. The problem is that most of the bags she has found to date have not been very business fashionable.The inside is lined with velcro allowing for a number of configurations.

    Another complaint (that my wife had) that Gun Tote’n Mamas has addressed is having options to access the gun from the top. Most gun purses have a side access, and that is problematic if you switch the purse from shoulder to shoulder, since the gun would now be in a less advantageous position.

    The quality of the material is pretty high and the construction looks solid. The have even incorporated an anti-cut feature into the strap.

    This is the construction that prevents a quick cut from letting a bag snatcher run off with it.

    Gun Tote’n Mamas has a number of options to fill that gap with a number of styles and varieties that can accommodate and match with any wardrobe. And for that matter they have a number of products that will work for guys (satchels, messenger bags, and even a leather iPad case that can conceal a 1911 Commander or Sig P220).

    You can see a number of their products and styles on their website: http://guntotenmamas.com/

    Concealed Carry Question of the week..he GTM-51 Town Tote Orange or Blue?

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    GTM-51 Town Tote Orange or Blue...we want to know!

    Tested with following:

    • Sig Sauer P229 (40 cal)
    • GLOCK 23 compact (40 cal)
    • GLOCK 27 subcompact (40 cal)
    • GLOCK 30S subcompact (45 cal)
    • Smith & Wesson 38 Special revolver "snub nose"
    • Sig Sauer P238 (.380 cal)
    • Sig Sauer P938 (9mm)
    • Ruger LCP (9mm)
    • Smith & Wesson Body Guard (.380 cal)
    • Smith & Wesson M&P Shield (9mm and in 40 cal)
    • Trimmed with full grain Tan American Cowhide
      • Designed for either Left or Right handed use
      • Special padding to prevent gun imprinting
      • SLASH RESISTANT SHOULDER STRAP
        • 11 Ply steel wire tastefully reinforced
        • Cross Body length
        • Easily clips on or off
        • Width helps disperse bag weight
        • Adjustable
      • 2 additional top carry handles option
      • Outside back zippered pocket
      • Inside extra zipper pocket and storage for Smart phones, lipstick, Pepper Spray etc.
      • Includes our Standard Holster (designed by Mernickle Holsters)
      • Gold color metal hardware and zippers
        • Gun compartment zippers are nylon coil for safety
      • Fully lined with Gun Tote'n Mamas logo lining
      • Overall bag size:
        12" Wide x 10 - 1/4" Tall x 5 - 1/4" Deep
      • GTM compartment size: 9" Wide x 7 - 1/2 " Tall
      • Zippered opening: 6 - 1/4" Tall
      • Gun footprint area: 7 - 5/8" Wide x 6" Tall

    Happy New Year from GTM

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    Happy New Year from all us at Gun Tote'N Mamas! Stay safe and sound

    Happy Holidays from GTM!

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    The Well Armed Woman-Bayou Region Chapter

    The Well Armed Woman-Bayou Region Chapter
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    The TWAW Bayou Region Chapter Anniversary Donation On behalf of The Well Armed Woman Bayou Region Shooting Chapter

    The TWAW Bayou Region Chapter Anniversary Donation On behalf of The Well Armed Woman Bayou Region Shooting Chapter
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    We wanted to share this with everyone. The TWAW Bayou Region Chapter Anniversary Donation On behalf of The Well Armed Woman Bayou Region Shooting Chapter, we would like to send a huge thank you for your donation to our 2nd anniversary celebration. Our chapter has experienced a large growth in interest and we continue to add courses to assist new shooters in learning practicing safely. Our members have developed great skill and proficiency over the past year. Some members have even ventured into the world of shooting competitions and skill challenges. Your continued support makes it all possible! Thank you so much!

    Attached is a photo of a majority of our members who attended the anniversary celebration along with some words of appreciation directly from them.

    Adrianna Eschete, RSO
    NRA Certified Instructor (Pistol, PPITH)
    NRA Refuse To Be A Victim Instructor
    LSP Approved CHL Instructor No. 1156
    The Well Armed Woman Certified Instructor
    The Well Armed Woman Louisiana State Leader
    TWAW Shooting Chapter Leader - Bayou Region, LA
    http://www.twawshootingchapters.org/
    http://www.thewellarmedwoman.com

    The Well Armed Woman Conference 2015!

    The Well Armed Woman Conference 2015!
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