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Special Report: Girls With Guns

Updated: Friday, February 15 2013, 07:46 AM EST

Gun control was a key point during President Obama's State of the Union address.

The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School and fear that the government will tighten gun laws have gun courses and firing ranges filling up with some surprising faces.

Women are signing up and looking to learn the safe way to handle a firearm. In some cases, women have gone from making up about 10 percent of the class to more than half the students.

They told News 13's Victoria Dunkle that they are looking to learn their rights.   For some it is a concern that the government will tighten gun laws and they won't be able to get a pistol permit or concealed carry permit.   Others told her the recent increase in crimes like break-ins has them looking for ways to protect themselves and their homes.

   Sheriff's offices across the Mountains report increases in applications for pistol and concealed carry permits.  Buncombe County had pistol permit applications increase by 1,983 last year.  CCW permit applications jumped by 485.  Henderson County saw overall applications increase 125% comparing January to January from 2011 through 2013.

    The increased interest is leading to a backlog in the application processing in some counties.   Buncombe County says it is close to the typical 60-90 processing time.   Right now Henderson County is not scheduling CCW application appointments until Mid-May and beyond.

by Victoria Dunkle

Follow Victoria on Twitter: @victoriadunkle

Special Report: Girls With Guns

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