By Michaela MacDonald
LUBBOCK, TX -- The number of Texas women who were issued concealed handgun licenses nearly doubled last year from the year before. In 2013, about 67,000 women got their licenses, up from about 35,000 in 2012, and just about 9,000 in 2004.
Lubbock is no exception to this trend. CHL instructor Beverly Ellis has been teaching classes for nine years. She tells us over the last few years she's seen a huge increase in women coming in for CHL training.
“When I first started doing the classes we had a reluctant wife every once in a while with their husband taking a class, but about five years ago it really started trending where women were really interested,” said Ellis.
We spoke with two women who recently got their CHLs. Pam Wilson says her main reason for getting her license was to protect herself and her family.
“I want to do and enjoy my life and not have to worry about being the victim of a crime, knowing that I have the ability to be able to defend myself and I have the training to do that, its just a very comforting very empowering thing for me,” said Wilson.
“I'm kind of more probably in a unique position than Pam. I have a house that's out in the country, very out in the country,” said Jacqueline Specter.
Specter’s motivation to get her license was her rural home.
“By the time I call 911 and they get out from 25 miles whatever is going to happen has already happened,” said Specter.
Wilson and Specter are both proud of their licenses, but say carrying a weapon is a huge responsibility not to be taken lightly.
Ellis says protection is still the number one reason why women take her class. But the course requirements have also become less of a commitment, decreasing from ten hours to a maximum of six.
“It was a commitment that a lot of people thought its really not that big of a deal but now I see a lot of people really wanting to take it and everybody is just really excited about the renewal process now instead of taking the class and re-qualifying you just apply online and send your fee and its returned to you much like your drivers license now,” said Ellis.
Ellis still offers CHL classes at her business “Ellis Gun Shak.” Wilson is in the process of getting certified as a CHL instructor herself.