Report shows gun ownership by women up; Interest in protection, sport among factors

Female participation also up for hunting

SAN DIEGO - Sheryl Prince learned how to shoot from her father growing up in Texas, and she still enjoys it today.

"I found it a fun hobby and always willing to learn something new," said Prince.

Now, the mother of three brings her girlfriends to the shooting range and teaches them how to handle a gun.

"Teaching them to shoot, they realize that it's not scary," said Prince.

Prince and her friends are part of a growing trend in the U.S.

The Scripps Howard News Service reports that female participation in target shooting rose from 3.3 million in 2001, to 5 million in 2011.

Female hunting has jumped 42 percent over that same time period.

About 23 percent of women in the U.S. own guns, and 43 percent of women live in households with guns.

"More women are realizing that knowledge is power and it's fun," said Prince.

Lawrence Renner, a certified firearms instructor, told Team 10 that more women clients are going to him. He said they make up 13 percent of his business.

"People are realizing that the world is a dangerous place, the cops can't be everywhere. They want to take personal responsibility for their safety," said Renner.

Another part of that responsibility, Prince believes, is teaching gun safety to everyone in the home.

"We are big on gun safety at our house. You will never find a gun in sight. They are in a safe. We keep ammo separate. Our kids do not know, and will never know, the combination to our safes," Prince said.

Prince said her three daughters can recite the rules of gun safety faster than she can.

"I don't want them to fear this, I want them to respect it," she said.

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