It has been widely reported that women in the United States are buying more guns, taking more firearms classes, and shooting at ranges than ever before, but it has taken this long for it to have an impact on Washington D.C., according to this story from

A pair of Connecticut women recently lobbied U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT)—one of the nation’s most prominent advocates of gun control, the story says.

“We are not the stereotype people think of when they thing about shooting sports and gun defense,” said Holly Sullivan Sanady, an NRA-certified firearms instructor and Southbury mother of one, who joined women gun owners from every state last week at a lobbying event in Washington. “We have different struggles than men realize. So for women who want to have the power to not be victims, there is nothing like (gun ownership).”

From the story:

“While the rapid growth in the female firearms market is prompting the industry to make smaller-frame guns and to hire more women in rifle shops and ranges, female gun owners aim to modify the conversation between gun advocates and critics of gun violence, which is one of the most polarized debates in American politics.”

“My hope is that we can start focusing more on the common ground and less on the divisiveness,” said Brooke Cheney in the story. She’s a competitive shooter from Harwinton who met with Murphy last week and said she was encouraged by their conversation. “The hard work of community-building that needs to be done is not going to happen with the swipe of a pen.”

Murphy made a name for himself recently when he filibustered for 15 hours last month to compel the GOP-led Senate to vote on gun-control legislation, though the bills ultimately failed. This occurred before Democrats in the House staged a sit-in for similar purposes for similar bills.

“Sometimes proponents of stronger gun-control legislation get cast as opponents of the Second Amendment, but what I am proposing would never take away the right of somebody (to) buy a gun for protection,” said Murphy after meeting with Sanady and Cheney, the story says. “We started out with a lot more in common with these two women from Connecticut than political pundits give us credit for. These women take gun ownership seriously and they represent responsible gun owners that often are not represented at the center of the debate.”

More than 8.4 million women took part in target-shooting in 2015, up 56 percent from 2006, according to the story.

The NRA’s basic pistol training class saw 45,600 female students in 2014, up 85 percent from 2011; and 3.3 million women hunted in 2013, up 85 percent from 2001.

“Women are increasingly taking their protection into their own hands,” says NRA spokesperson Catherine Mortensen. “They don’t want to rely on a boyfriend or a spouse or the government.”