This has been a big year for gun sales, with estimates saying the FBI will have performed nearly 25 million NICS background checks by year’s end. While it’s not a one-to-one correlation, that number indicates a roughly similar number of guns have been sold.

This story from out of St. Louis echoes stories from other parts of the country that say women are a key force in driving those sales in the new world of guns.

From the story:

“Women are helping propel firearm background checks and guns ales to an all-time high. Steve King, owner of Metro Shooting Supply, says it’s astonishing how fast women are getting locked and loaded.”

“If I could open a new store it would cater to women and self-defense and it has been growing the past five years,” he said in the story.

At King’s shop, there are shooting lessons every day and women make up 80 percent of the full classrooms.

In the story, King says he doesn’t recommend every woman buys a gun and that a woman, like any gun owner, has to be comfortable with the prospect of having to use it in self defense at some point.

“The more single household families we have where women are the head of the household, you have them realizing that not only are they the only provider financially and emotionally for children, but also the physical provider as well,” King said in the story.

While some academic studies insist women are in more danger if there is a gun in the home, police statistics say about 200,000 women use a gun to defend themselves from a sexual attack every year, the story says.

For the full story from, go here.