Davenport gun shop seeing more women customers

DAVENPORT, Iowa  -- The owner of a Davenport gun shop said she has seen an increase in women customers.

Owner of Davenport Guns, Jeanelle Westrom, said during the summer of 2018 more women were visiting her shop.

The shop offers concealed carry classes, shooting ranges, and safety classes. Westrom said they have seen an increase in the sales of protection items, like pepper spray and personal safety alarms. Westrom also said the Iowa concealed carry classes have seen an increase in students by 20%. Westrom says she thinks the increase in women is connected to the high-profile murder cases in Iowa this summer.

"The story about Mollie Tibbetts and other women getting attacked," Westrom said. "There is also that young lady that got attacked and killed up in Ames on the golf course. Places where you think you're safe and you're not safe."

Overall, 17 million people across the country have a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The Crime Prevention Research Center reports that number is up from 2017, with the biggest increases among women and minorities.