More women in Michigan have concealed pistol licenses
Michigan State Police data show more women in Michigan are applying for concealed pistol licenses.
First reported by ABC News, Channel 7 WXYZ Detroit, By: Jane Park
Kelly Wellington, Owner of Pistol Gripz, Inc. in the News
SHELBY TOWNSHIP (WXYZ) – Jessica Hessling has been a shooting instructor for two years and she’s part of a growing trend of women with concealed pistol licenses.
“We started from a five-person class all the way to 25. We maxed out,” Hessling said of the women’s shooting class at Close Quarters Tactical, LLC in Shelby Township.
Hessling said the main reason more women are getting CPLs is for safety and self-defense.
“It’s how to protect themselves, how to feel comfortable when they walk with their kids, to their car, or when they leave work,” Hessling said.
A report by The Detroit News cites Michigan State Police data, which show the number of Michigan women renewing or applying for CPLs rose from 10,862 in 2010 to 25,418 in 2014, a 134 percent increase. Macomb County saw the fastest growth rate of women CPL holders, at 122 percent.
Kelly Wellington got her concealed pistol license five years ago for practical reasons. She works as an accountant and often leaves the office late at night. Now, Wellington said, sharpening her shooting skills at the range has become a hobby. So much so, she’s channeling it into a business marketing custom-made, bejeweled pistol grips.
Wellington said knowing how to handle and shoot a gun is empowering.
Hessling said many of her students say they feel more confident after learning how to use firearms. While critics argue the surge in armed women suggests more needs to be done to address crime, she said the trend of more women with CPLs is here to stay.
“I think society is changing,” Hessling said.
Close Quarters Tactical, LLC is located at 50485 Utica Drive in Shelby Township. The facility offers Ladies Night every Tuesday from 6 to 9 p.m. when women shoot for free.