Women who have been abused or stalked by an ex or have witnessed crime sweep the nation are increasingly turning to guns to become “their own first responders,” an NRA instructor who has built a boutique self-defense training company catered to women says.
“I feel like every single day, there’s another woman who thought she would never pick up a gun… and they understand what type of world we live in right now.” Robin Evans, the founder and owner of self-defense training company called Chicks with Triggers, told Fox News Digital in a phone interview. “And, unfortunately, it gets more dangerous every single day. And so I think more women are starting to really come around to the fact that, ‘Hey, I never thought I would be here, but this is where the world is, so I gotta get prepared.’”
Evans launched Chicks with Triggers during the pandemic, explaining that she started the business thinking it would be her “little side hobby” to help equip women to fight threats through gun safety and self-defense lessons. The business quickly boomed and now Evans holds classes of between 25-30 women each weekend in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia.
Evans said roughly 60% of her clientele have encountered dangerous and violent situations themselves, including domestic abuse, rape or kidnapping. The business was built by a woman for women, Evans said, explaining that she has eliminated a lot of stressors women say they encounter when purchasing a firearm and enrolling in classes on how to safely use their gun.
“They wanted to learn how to defend themselves, but they didn’t have an outlet to go to. Most of the women that I have met, they don’t want to go to the male classes. A lot of them are domestic violence victims. They don’t feel comfortable being surrounded by all those men. They don’t feel comfortable being mansplained about guns. And so that’s where I kind of come in,” Evans, told Fox News Digital.
“It’s a no pressure atmosphere,” she said.
Evans and a handful of women who trained through Chicks with Triggers joined the NRA for a video exclusively shared with Fox News Digital that highlights how they “will never be victims again” following their gun training.
“Because of Robin, I have been more comfortable in handling and shooting the gun and also learning the gun laws,” one of Evans’ clients said in the video.
“Any threat that comes my way now, I feel like with my gun, I can handle it,” the client said. “If I needed it, I feel more comfortable pulling it,” another woman said.
NRA executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre told Fox News Digital that the Second Amendment organization is proud “to support Robin and Chicks With Triggers in their efforts to empower women by enabling them to defend themselves.
“Our latest video showcases six of the more than 4,500 women Robin has trained in South Carolina. As one of the 125,000 NRA instructors across the nation, Robin serves as an ambassador and leader in our mission of educating Americans in self-defense. Indeed, every NRA instructor plays a crucial role in empowering millions of citizens to responsibly exercise their Second Amendment rights, thereby ensuring their personal safety and security,” LaPierre added.
Evans has trained more than 4,500 women, and said the business initially trained mostly Black women, before other minority women and White females signed up with Chicks with Triggers.
“When I first started, my demographic were Black women. Period. Like that was my demographic. That’s who was coming to me, I guess because I am a Black woman, so the other Black women were like, ‘OK, we’re gonna be here,’” Evans said.
“And then out of nowhere, it was the Asian women and the Hispanic and the White women. And I was not expecting that because there are so many outlets for other demographics,” she said.
Evans said she’s particularly noted an increase in gun ownership among Black and Asian American women.
“I have nail shop owners that come and they’ll bring everyone who works in the nail shop, and they want guns in there. So I definitely see uptick in it,” she said.
Gun sales overall had a banner year in 2020 with an estimated 23 million firearms sold and more than 21 million background checks conducted. The numbers smashed records and notably spiked at the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 before jumping yet again in June of that year as protests and riots spread across the nation in response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.
Gun ownership has especially boomed among women. Between 2019 and 2021, as gun purchases exploded, about half of firearm customers were women, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Women were the most likely new gun-owner demographic during those years, researchers found.
Evans argued that women generally want to understand the basics of gun ownership and safety before actually using a firearm. She even offers her clients a “service called try before you buy” that allows women to become more familiar with a firearm before they make a purchase.
“We do a service called try before you buy. It’s a one-on-one thing, and we sit there and try out eight to 10 of the most popular concealed-carry guns until we figure out where they’re comfortable. And then we go buy what they want. So that way we know we’re confident when we walk into the range,” she said.
The women featured in the NRA video said Evans’ approach to self-defense training has allowed them to become “faster than 911” and their own “first responder.”
“I think that women are sick of the abuse, and sick of cops not taking them seriously. Sick of the justice system not working toward them. And I think that that is where the uptick is coming in. They’re just tired of it. So if the justice system is not going to do it, and the police are not going to help, and you know, nobody’s here to help us, and then we got to do it ourselves,” Evans told Fox News Digital.