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FRISCO — Guns will certainly be the target of much debate during the 2014 campaign season. Both leading gubernatorial candidates — Democrat Wendy Davis and Republican Greg Abbott — say they support expanding Texas' "open carry law."

Guns are big business in the Lone Star State.

The Frisco Gun Club just opened in December, and already has 3,500 members; one-third of them are women and families.

The club even attracts non-members for "Ladies Night." Women arrive carrying their handguns and shotguns and can use the facilities for half-price.

"There's always a range master; they don't tolerate any messing around," said Denny Rice, a registered nurse who comes to the gun range once a week.

"You're going to be safe when you are here, and they'll teach you exactly what you need to know to be both safe for yourself — your own family — and how to protect yourself," she added.

This week, Rice was shooting her .22. "It's easy, light weight, and I'm pretty accurate with it," she said.
Megan Bowen loves her job at the gun range as a sales consultant after being laid off in the mortgage industry. She likes trying different firearms and working with people.

"I was with an 89-year-old lady who was shooting again after 30 years of not shooting," Bowen said. "It was awesome!"

She told us there is no "typical" gun owner. "I thought there was, and there's not... it's everyone."
Anyone — including me.

Armed with my Concealed Handgun License and my .38 Special, Bowen helped me shake off the rust.
"A facility like this draws a lot of first-time shooters," said Frisco Gun Club spokesman Brandon Johnson. "We get people coming in here who have never done this before."

There are more than 35,000 women who are licensed to carry in Texas, or one out of four of all licensed gun owners in the state.

The Frisco Gun Club offers many accessories for the female gun owner — from purses to pink gun handles.

"Our females are going to conceal a little bit differently than men do," Johnson said. "They are going to use purses and different ways to conceal, so it really makes sense to have something that's geared more toward the ladies."

Denny Rice said the Frisco facility is "top notch," but she admits some of her friends think guns are offensive.

"When I explain to them that I actually had to protect myself and my children one time in our own home from an intruder, they get a little more accepting," she said.

Ladies Night has been so successful, the next event might be family night, with pistols and pizza and gun safety on tap.

See and read more: khou.com Houston
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