ATLANTA (CBS46) -- Gun stores around the country are seeing a boom in customers, and those walking through the doors are also changing.
“Women are very much involved,” said Yonn, sales associate at Mainstreet Guns and Range in Lilburn.
Women from all walks of life around Georgia come to meet up with other women at the gun range.
“I had to drive like 30 miles to get here,” said Kelsi Roy.
“This is my first time at a range,” said Kwanesha Heaven. “So that’s just my thing, I want to get familiarized, and more comfortable and things like that. So hopefully I can achieve that tonight.”
Women are now the target demographic at many gun stores and ranges around the country.
“We have women that are past 70 years old, that are shooting every week,” said Yonn.
The influx of crime is pushing some women to pack heat.
“Just random shootings. My being a single mom, I definitely want to protect myself and my children,” said Angela Moody. “I talk to them and I let them know, ‘Hey, mom’s going to get a gun.’”
Once intimidated and not interested in the idea of just owning a gun, Moody changed her mind after moving to Atlanta.
“Whether you are going to work, going to the grocery store, coming back home. And you see guns, you see guys that are literally shooting past your car, or you see the aftermath of someone being robbed, or unfortunately someone being murdered, I’d much rather be safe than sorry,” said Moody.
It's no surprise some feel it’s time to bear arms.
“General anxiety, fears about just general unrest in the country. You have issues with domestic violence. You have issues with crime in general,” said Christian Forbes, sales associate and instructor at Mainstreet Guns and Range.
The crime statistics in Atlanta are only getting worse.
By the numbers, Atlanta police say homicides increased by 52-percent, year-to-date since 2019; rape increased nearly 70-percent from the last year. And aggravated assault, up to 20-percent since 2019.
“When you hear a bump in the night, it’s no fun to go down there with a baseball bat,” said Roy.
According to “Neighborhood Scout,” which tracks and compiles crime data, you have a 1 in 294 chance in Georgia of being a victim of a violent crime; it Atlanta, it’s 1 in 121.
“We’ve definitely seen a significant increase with women wanting to purchase firearms,” said Forbes.
Mainstreet Guns and Range used to average anywhere from 10-15 sales a day, pre-pandemic. But with the civil unrest, Forbes said it’s now increased anywhere from seven to eight times the number.
“A lot of women seem to think that owning a gun is a man’s sport. Or a man’s thing. And it definitely isn’t,” said Moody.
While guns can be incredibly dangerous, the women here have created a safe space to be with each other during a time of unease.
“It felt comfortable, supportive. Given now everything that’s going on, you want to have a good support group and know what you’re doing,” said Erika Drake.