MORRISTOWN, Tenn. (WVLT) - Women are one of the fastest growing groups of gun owners, according to the National Rifle Association. Pew Research Center says women are more likely than men to own a gun simply for the purpose of protecting themselves. In East Tennessee, gun groups are helping women learn personal safety in a social setting along with other women.
Firearms instructor Peggy Ray not only teaches gun safety classes, but she started the Morristown chapter of the The Well Armed Woman. She says the women meet monthly at East Tennessee Gun Club to meet casually, learn about gun ownership, and also spend an hour practicing on the gun range.
Ann Kramer is 77 years old, and finally decided to obtain her state permit to carry a concealed weapon. She is completing her education with Ray, so she can better protect her family and home. "I think it was time I faced that fear. I was afraid of guns. Now I know it's not fear, but it's respect."
Ray encourages every woman to educate herself about personal safety and gun safety, whether or not she decided to carry a gun.
"I really want people to understand that first of all your firearm is your tool of last choice, and that there are other things that you can do, and that you need to be safe and proficient and you need to train."
While the carry permit requires an 8-hour education course, Ray strongly encourages everyone to get more education than that, and to always stay in practice safely using their gun.