Number of moms packing heat spikes - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Number of moms packing heat spikes

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Move the sippy cup and make room for a side arm. More Mid-South moms are packing heat at play dates and birthday parties.

Local gun and ammo stores are so packed during weekend permit classes, they are booked through April.

Chip Holland has been teaching gun classes at Range USA since 2002. About 10,000 people have taken his handgun carry class.

People ranging in experience from the novice, to the experienced shooter, are looking to sharpen their skills. Lately, Holland has seen a huge increase in class size.

"The political climate in crime is one thing, and I think you've seen an increase in crime and people think I'm gonna be able to defend myself, protect myself," said Holland.

Recently, the number of women taking the classes has skyrocketed. Another thing Holland has noticed, is the number of moms enrolled in the classes, in some cases, suburban moms, and believe it or not, experts say most women are better students.

"Genetically you have fine motor skills in your hands and that's what pressing the trigger is, it's a fine motor skill control," said Holland.

Action News 5's Amy Speropoulos attended the class and it was the first and only time she had ever handled a gun. And she was not alone.

"I've never even seen a handgun, and it would absolutely scare me to death to even touch it," said Nancy Kelley, another mom taking the class.

Nancy Kelly is married with two teenage boys, both of whom hunt, which is why she wants to educate herself on guns and safety. But she also wants to protect herself if she needs to.

"I think you can put your head in the sand and say it won't happen to me but realistically you have to be prepared," said Kelley.

Kelley is getting prepared by taking one of the permit classes. But some other moms have some very personal reasons for packing heat.

With three young boys ages four and younger, protection is a top priority for Sandy Delikat.

"I don't want to be the person who doesn't have a gun and gets in a situation when my boys could be hurt," she said.

Delikat is not alone. Gun sales to women are up 73 percent.

"The political climate in crime is one thing, and I think you've seen an increase in crime and people think I'm gonna be able to defend myself, protect myself," said Holland.

"I'm a vegetarian I can't even fathom hurting an animal but if someone were coming in my home and harming my children that's another story," said Kelley.

Being prepared involves learning how to properly handle a gun, how to hit your target, and how to keep your firearms out of your kids' reach.

"You've gotta think common sense, you don't leave your gun just laying around in your purse sitting around when there are kids around," explained Holland.

"Yes, I know that guns are dangerous and yes, we know what they can do and we are carrying that over with our children and trying to educate them," agreed Kelley.

It is an education these moms feel could be life saving.

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