Women's Conceal Carry Licenses

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An experienced shooter firing off a round during target practice is something that takes years to become truly comfortable with, and these women are just beginning their training. They're getting practice for their conceal carry deadly weapons license test, something more and more women are choosing to have as a means of self defense.

"I think there's a huge increase in number of women across the country, and we have seen a steady increase of women in Bowling Green and Warren County," said Certified Conceal Carry Instructor Deborah Williams.

They're doing it to be prepared for the worst situations.

"I know instances of friends who have had friends who have been approached and had a gun, and they didn't fire it or anything. They just let them know they had a gun, and they ran away," said Conceal Carry Class Student Dottie Holland.

"As a woman, I am very conscious of the fact that most people... men... probably are bigger than me and able to over power me, and I do feel that carrying a weapon would put me on a more level playing ground," said prospective Conceal Carry student Kori Beck.

Phil Kimbel has been a certified Conceal Carry instructor for 11 years, but he says taking a conceal carry class doesn't make you an experienced shooter.

"That will not automatically make you a competent shooter. You will only get that ability by significant time spent in practice," said Certified Conceal Carry Instructor Phil Kimbel.

Before you can get the license, you have to take and pass a Conceal Carry class.
One thing the class emphasizes is that the Castle Law allows you to protect your life and your family's life on your property when they pose a threat to those lives. You cannot pursue someone who has taken your property once they've fled.

"The use of deadly force is for self-defense purposes only," said Kimbel.

32 states now have some form of Conceal Carry, and Kentucky has an agreement with them, but not all of their laws are the same.

"The law to permit you to have it in the glove compartment does not apply in other states. So if you have the weapon in your glove compartment in Kentucky, you could be legally doing that, but if you go into Tennessee, especially without your conceal carry permit, then you would be violating their law," said Phil Kimbel.

Kimbel says statistics show those states with some form of Conceal Carry Licenses tend to have less violent crimes.

"Apparently it is working, and that's the whole idea. One of the main reasons I teach it is I don't want to see my family or friends be a victim, and I think this could help avoid that," said Kimbel.

Kimbel says there are about 200 thousand people with their Conceal Carries in Kentucky, but the state doesn't just give away these licenses. Other than passing the class, you have to pass a background check and have no prior felonies to get and keep your license. These women hope by arming themselves... they won't be victims.

"I travel a little bit on the road, and I think it's going to make a huge difference just having it in the car with me, because it's different times of the day and night that I travel. And I really think I'm going to talk to my adult daughters about doing this. I think this would be something good for them to do also," said Conceal Carry Class Student Dottie Holland.

These women say they'd never want to be in the position to use a gun on another person, but when it means life or death they say they will be prepared.

Kentucky State Police say in 2011 alone about 25.5 thousand Kentuckians were issued a Conceal Carry license, while 460 were denied.

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