Pistol permits up for women

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 3, 2014

A group of women is spending a portion of today with local law enforcement, taking part in a firearms class that teaches them how to properly carry and discharge a pistol. And it is programs like these classes that Covington County Sheriff Dennis Meeks said has led to a spike in the number of women applying for concealed carry pistol permits over the last several years.

“I wouldn’t say it’s up significantly, but there are definitely more women applying now than in the past,” Meeks said.

“These classes definitely help because it raises their comfort level. A lot of women have never shot a pistol before, and that’s why we do these classes.”

Meeks said women are typically viewed as being an easier target for robberies and violent crimes and being able to legally carry a pistol simply adds another layer of protection.

Rachel Eddins, who works in the sheriff’s department’s main office, said she has personally witnessed the increase in women seeking pistol permits. Eddins echoed Meeks’ suspicion that the free firearms classes are making an impact, but said the story she most often hears from women applying for permits is that their husbands talked them into it.

“That’s one I hear a lot,” Eddins said. “Husbands talking wives into getting a permit. Lots of times they’ll say that it took a long time to get (their wives) to get a permit.”

Regardless of the reason, Meeks said more women in Covington County are legally carrying handguns than maybe ever before.

The department could not provide totals for the number of women who have purchased permits.