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For West County Woman, Gun Ownership Has Newfound Importance

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A study released earlier this year by pollsters at Gallup found men are three times more likely to own a gun than women. Still, the number of female gun owners is on the rise nationwide as the debate over gun control continues in Washington.

Deb Abbott of west St. Louis County is among the 15 percent of women nationally who own a gun. For Abbott it all began when her dog, long a source of protection, was euthanized. Suddenly she was left feeling defenseless.

That’s when she started arriving at gun classes.

“I’m quite efficient at cleaning it, breaking it down, loading it,” she said.

Abbott took a gun safety course provided by the Missouri Department of Conservation but says it was her mother who first taught her how to shoot at the age of nine. She hopes to never need to shoot anyone but say there are a lot of people who don’t have a conscience.

“I think everything has consequences, they think nothing has consequences,” she said, referring to those she feels may harm her. “I have to have one up on them. They don’t have anything to lose and I have everything to lose.”

Abbott inherited her mother’s shotgun and also has a .38 caliber handgun. The loss of her dog led her to buy a third gun, a .9 mm handgun. She says she bought the .9 mm for protection but has since fallen in love with target shooting.

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