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Industry Responds To Growing Number Of Women Gun Owners

FRISCO (CBSDFW.COM) - Women are buying guns in greater numbers than ever and the industry is taking notice.

Gun enthusiast Shannon Shell admitted, "When I first started I was really scared of guns. I hadn't touched one before, had never interacted with one.  So the first time was really intimidating."

That was five years ago when Shell married a gun enthusiast and figured she should give the sport a try. "I was surprised how much I loved it just after that first experience," she said.

Now that Shell visits the gun range five days a week she says she's noticed that more women are joining her. "I'm surprised how many women I see just coming on a regular basis.  Every time I come here there are more women."

The new upscale Frisco Gun Club is targeting that rapidly growing number of women gun owners. Wednesday nights, it offers a Ladies' Night special -- half off an hour on the range. Clean and brightly lit the gun range there is 'prettier' than most.

The retail shop sells products with women mind, including weapons in certain-colors. "The pink accents on guns really attract ladies," said Jerah Hutchins, a membership consultant at the range.

The retail shop has pink t-shirts, an upcoming jewelry line, and purses designed specifically to conceal a firearm. "If an intruder or somebody's trying to rob you, you can take it out of the purse very easily," Hutchins explained.

Frisco Gun Club officials estimate that roughly 20-percent of its members are women. Many of those members had to overcome some initial uneasiness with what's traditionally been a man's sport.

"A lot of women get embarrassed to come and shoot because they don't know what they're doing," Hutchins said, adding, "I find that a lot of women have been very skittish or standoffish about it.  Until they come here and try it."

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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