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By Crystal Brotmeyer

More women than ever before are carrying a concealed weapon.

According to the Annual Legislative Report issued by the Department of Public Safety, numbers among Louisiana women have skyrocketed in the past three years.

Michael Meyer has owned Jefferson Gun Outlet for over 15 years.

He said about one-third of his weekly classes consist of women.

In 1996, Louisiana passed the Brady Bill which allowed pedestrians to carry a concealed weapon. Between that time and 2008, 4778 women had a concealed permit. As of December 2011, 11,228 women now have a permit.

According to the BJS source book of criminal justice, 62 percent of Americans feel that the laws covering the sales of firearms could be stricter.

The Trayvon Martin case received national attention when a young boy was shot for unknown circumstances. It brought about questions on gun laws.

“There are things in that case if you don’t know the fourth amendment, you don’t know the constitutional standards on using deadly force, you can end up being in jail the rest of your life or civil liability. You shoot the burglar and the burglar ends up owning your house. You know, that could happen,” said Dr. Scharf, criminologist and Tulane Professor.

Another factor is that gun advertisements are appealing to women.

Kahr is a gun manufacturer whose advertisements are meant to appeal to women by showcasing slender models holding small guns.

Carol Shoemaker, a housewife from St. Bernard Parish, got her permit to carry her .22 caliber gun immediately after hurricane Katrina.

Carol said that she was worried after the storm because there was not a lot of police protection in the city. Since then, her and her husband renew their permits every four years.

“We’re from Chalmette, Saint Bernard Parish, where it was 100 percent decimated after the storm. So we got our gun permits so we could protect ourselves while we were rebuilding our house after the storm,” said Carol.

The gun industry caters to women like Carol by selling pink eye wear and even pink guns.

Carol uses a .22 caliber gun as a means of protection. According to her, the gun brings her peace of mind whenever she is alone.

“My husband says I’m just going to aggravate somebody more than hurt somebody and it may get me into more trouble than good but in my mind I’m at least going to get myself out of a dangerous situation,” said Carol.

So far only two states, Wisconsin and District of Columbia, prohibit any individual to carry a gun unless they are law enforcement.

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