Last year, we reported that the gun advocacy group, Legally Armed, was surprised to have 350 women show up for a free ladies-only gun class that they had been holding annually for five years. This year, they got another shock when they again held the class and got almost double that number of female attendees, according to this story from the South Bend Tribune.

The story reports that Legally Armed founder and firearms instructor Rick Ector said 700 women registered for the event held at Top Gun Shooting Sports. About 600 showed up for class.

“We teach women how to shoot and discharge a firearm, and a personal protection strategy,” Ector said in the story, adding that many of his graduates have had to display and sometimes use their concealed carry firearm to defend themselves against an attacker.

The class has grown in large spurts every year, from 50 students the first time around. This years 600 attendees were composed of women of all ages, from 12-year-old Kassidy Johnson who was there with her mother for some range time.

“This is an event to see if owning a gun for personal protection is right for you,” he said in this story from “If it’s not right for you, find some other means of protecting yourself.”

For some, the class represented their first time ever shooting a gun.

“It was stunning actually,” said Claudia Gutierrez of Belleville, a first-time shooter. “I’ve always felt it’s people who kill, not the guns.”

The students who attend get classroom time and one-on-one instruction time on the shooting range with 9mm handguns.

In this story from, Sherry Dmitruchina sad she surprised herself with how well she shot during the class.

“I sure did. Twenty shots, all in the same hole (at five yards),” she said in the story. “I’m going to show my husband.”