Women purchasing guns and 'carrying concealed' on the rise

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Santosha Dupuis is undergoing gun training. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Santosha Dupuis is undergoing gun training. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Whitney Wingfield says recently she’s seen more than a 50 percent increase in women taking her classes. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Whitney Wingfield says recently she’s seen more than a 50 percent increase in women taking her classes. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Dupuis says she had never shot a gun and never thought she'd be taking a concealed weapons class and training on how to shoot. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Dupuis says she had never shot a gun and never thought she'd be taking a concealed weapons class and training on how to shoot. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Women buying guns and getting concealed carry permits is a trend that’s growing, according to some gun experts. Many times, it’s after an act of violence. 

“I definitely felt powerless, defenseless, just scared,” said Santosha Dupuis.

Dupuis says she had never shot a gun and never thought she'd be taking a concealed weapons class and training on how to shoot.

[RELATED: Gun sales increasing among women]

“I didn't ever want to be in a position to where I was defenseless and couldn't protect myself or my child,” she said.

She signed up for training and decided to buy a gun after a recent terrifying experience 

“It was 2:30 in the morning, I was in the bed asleep and all I remember was glass shattering. My head, my face my hands were cut up and all I could do was run and lock myself and my son in the bathroom and wait for the police to get there,” she said.

Whitney Wingfield runs a business called Arizona Personal Defense and is a firearms and concealed weapons instructor. She says she's seen a huge spike in women getting guns and coming to take her classes. 

[RELATED: Guns for women? Christmas lists are locked and loaded (Dec 18, 2015)]

“I've had a soccer mom that's never touched a gun, single women, a lot of professionals, nurses, bartenders, realtors. They all have an increasing need for a firearm due to what's going on in the world right now. Usually, which is sad, it's from an act of violence. Something has immediately happened. They've been carjacked, someone's broken in. They've had an immediate need for a firearm because of something negative in their life,” she said.

Wingfield teaches gun safety classes and concealed carry classes at Guns Etc. in Mesa. Part of the training utilizes simulators to put students in real-life scenarios where they have to shoot. 

“They go in front of the simulator here and use it and get a feel for a firearm you are contemplating purchasing in a safe, comfortable, controlled environment. We'll put you in a real-life perspective of what to do if you're in a deadly situation somewhere,” says Wingfield. 

It’s a situation Dupuis hopes to never be in again, but she says if she is, now she'll be prepared.

“I think a lot of women now are just saying, 'Hey, let me put myself in a position where if I need to protect myself I can,' versus not being able to,” says Dupuis.

Wingfield says recently she’s seen more than a 50 percent increase in women taking her classes. 

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LiAna EnriquezLiAna Enriquez is a native of Arizona. She attended Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe, Arizona.

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LiAna Enriquez

She then went on to Arizona State University. She graduated summa cum laude from the University’s prestigious, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism with a degree in Journalism/Mass Communications with an emphasis in broadcasting.

LiAna started her news career with KTVK-TV as an intern. She loved it so much she never left! She has been with the station for fourteen years. Currently, she is the consumer investigative producer for Arizona’s top rated consumer segment, 3 On Your Side and is also a general assignment reporter. LiAna also reported for the station’s top rated high school sports show, ‘The Varsity Zone’ for five years.

In her free time LiAna enjoys cooking, watching movies, quading, and traveling. But her absolute favorite thing to do, is to hang out with her husband and beautiful daughters. She is a softball mom. She loves the beach and waterfalls! Her favorite team is the Arizona Cardinals and of course, the Sun Devils.

Life motto: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

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