Armed and female: More women are carrying guns

10News reporter Jennifer Titus talks with a woman who shot an intruder who broke into her home.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. --  Mary Shirley, 66, says she was watching television one morning when she heard someone breaking in through the front window of her home.

She says she warned him she had a gun but the suspect, Timothy Tugman, did not listen.

That's when she says she had no choice but to shoot.

"You have to protect yourself this day and age. People are becoming so brazen. I told him I had a gun and now I'm not afraid to use it," says Shirley.

Owner of the St. Pete Gun Store, Jim Hathcock, says with more women bearing arms retailers are creating merchandise targeting the female client.

“They've got the pink colors, they've gone to attractive handbags with actual holsters in them,” says Hathcock.

According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the number of women carrying guns has increased dramatically since the new millennium. They estimate a 60% increase in women target shooters from 2001-2013.

“This is a Glock 43. It's a single stack,” says Emily Cook, of St. Pete, who decided to purchase a gun after a life-changing incident six months ago.

“As soon as I put key the in ignition, I had a gun in my face,” says Cook.

She was held at gunpoint and carjacked.

“I’m not going to be in situation, not going to be coming home to 6-year-old at night,” says Cook. “A federal agent said 15% of women walk away unharmed. So, that’s an 85% chance I wouldn’t be OK. And that’s not OK. I won’t be A victim.” 

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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