HOUSTON -

Gun shops are seeing a growing number of women arming themselves.

Doloris Dutton said that buying a gun had not crossed her mind until recently.

"It's been at least 30 years since I shot a gun," she said.

Kathleen James, manager of The Arms Room in League City, said more and more women are getting concealed handgun licenses.

"We've seen a big jump in women buying firearms and taking lessons," James said. "The world is becoming a scary place."

Several all-women gun clubs are popping up, too.

"I think it's because of all the break-ins and victimizing of women, catching them off-guard in the parking lots," Dutton said.

James said many women feel like they need more than pepper spray to protect themselves.

"If someone is wanting to hurt you bad enough, the pepper spray and the Taser isn't going to stop the attack," James said. "The main purpose of carrying the firearm is to stop the attack."

The Arms Room has started to offer lessons exclusively for women, taught by women.