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Women among fastest-growing group of gun owners

HOUSTON – The national debate on gun control is growing as some Americans call for bans and others say now more than ever citizens need the right to arm themselves.

One of the fastest-growing groups of gun owners is women.

Rain Jones is not one of those women. She and her children passed out fliers for an upcoming “Stop the Violence” rally. Jones believes there should be a reduction of the number of weapons on the streets.

“It’s more than too many guns, more than too many, and nobody is doing anything about it,” Jones said.

Jones supports a ban on assault rifles and worries about the mentally ill getting permits to carry guns.

“I decided not to have a weapon in my house because I don’t want my children to get ahold of it,” Jones said.

The FBI conducted more than 2.1 million background checks in June 2016, compared to about 1.5 million in June 2015. That's an increase of about 40%. This means that 2016 is on track to break last year's record for background checks. The FBI conducted 13,829,491 background checks in the first half of this year. Last year's tally for the entire year was 23,141,970. More than ever before, women are applying.

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“Well, unfortunately, in these uncertain times, you need to prepare yourself,” Dorice Blackshear said. “The idea of firing one makes me uncomfortable, but I have to prepare myself as much as possible.”

From the city to the suburbs, gun ranges and safety classes are filling up with females.

“I work in real estate, so on occasions I go to areas by myself, and I’d rather be safe, and know that I’d rather have it and not need it rather than the other way around,” Livonia resident Danielle Goff said.

Gun owners should go through the legal process, which will ensure that the user is properly trained on how to use and store the weapon.