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The One Item That Is Becoming an Increasingly Popular Gift for Women

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“It’s something that we found that we could do together that we really enjoyed."

Image via Shutterstock

Terrie Gallagher, of Northern Virginia, got what might be considered an unconventional gift from her husband last Christmas, an AR-15. It's not the first gun he gave her, and both enjoy shooting at the firing range.

“It’s something that we found that we could do together that we really enjoyed,” she told the Washington Post, which reports that guns are a growing trend for women and that manufacturers and retailers are responding to the female market.

Image via Shutterstock Image via Shutterstock

About 80 percent of gun stores surveyed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation reported increases in female buyers from 2011 to 2012, while a Gallup poll found that 23 percent of women owned guns in 2011, a 10 percent hike from 2005, the Post reported.

Gallagher is planning to attend the post-Christmas firing range event sponsored by She Can Shoot, a Virginia-based organization.

“I find that once they get a ­gun, the fever starts,” said Tina ­Wilson-Cohen, the founder of She Can Shoot told the Post. “They will literally get one for the range, one for walking the dog, one because it’s pink and purple. It starts. They love it.”

A woman fires a gun at the Ultimate Defense Firing Range and Training Center, around 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of Ferguson in St Peters, Missouri, on November 26, 2014. Paul Bastean, owner of the range, told AFP that business had grown as a result of anxiety about reaction to the jury announcement in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Typical sales of five to seven guns a day have risen to 20 to 30 in the last week, while gun-handling courses for November and December are fast selling out. Violence erupted in the St Louis, Missouri suburb for a second night on November 25 over the decision by a grand jury not to prosecute a white police officer for shooting dead Brown, an unarmed black teenager. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad Credit JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images A woman fires a gun at the Ultimate Defense Firing Range and Training Center, around 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of Ferguson in St Peters, Missouri, on November 26, 2014. (AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad)

The reasons for the increased popularity of guns among women is a changing culture of firearms being used for personal protection instead of hunting. The gun industry is working to appeal to female customers, with colorful guns and marketing.

After Laurie Loughry, a 24-year-old in Fredericksburg, Virginia, got a blue .38 Special from her boyfriend, she even joined an organization.

“Blue is my favorite color,” Loughery told the Post. “So seeing that it was blue was really cool.”

She started shooting with the Pistol Packing Ladies, a Northern Virginia group that helps women “grow as shooters and as empowered women.”

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