Women are carrying more guns than ever before, with recent estimates saying 12 to 17 million women own a handgun.
Local gun shops across the area say they've seen an increase in women buying guns.
Bob McDowell from Bob's Gun Shop says about 60% to 70% of people who buy a gun from him and take his classes are women.
McDowell says for most women, they buy a gun for self defense.
Noelle Motzer, Erie resident, was just given a handgun from her boyfriend for Valentine's Day.
She says it's empowering to own her own gun now.
It's a safety feature for her.
"If you have something that protects you, you're there right away," said Motzer. "It's by your side, it's part of your shadow."