More grandmothers buying guns for protection

Published: Aug. 2, 2012 at 3:06 AM EDT
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LAKE PARK, FL (WFLX) - Armed and unafraid, senior women are fired up about owning a gun. For 69-year-old Linda Lathrop that's a complete 180.

"I've never owned or shot a gun until this past year," says Linda Lathrop.

Linda is part of a growing number of senior women in Palm Beach County determined to protect themselves.
At the Home Safety Academy in Lake Park, the median age for students taking gun safety classes last year was 62. 4 in 5 were women.

"It's no secret that seniors are targets, it's no surprise to us that so many are coming in and taking classes," says Dave D'Eugenio, an instructor with Home Safety Academy.

70,000 women between the ages of 51 and 65 obtained a concealed weapons permit in Florida in the month of May alone.

For Linda, it came to a point where carrying mace wasn't enough. She found a robber in her kitchen stealing food this past year.

"There's a lot more crime today than ever before, I see it on my own street where I live. I want to make sure I'm going to be able to protect myself," says Linda Lathrop.

"If you want to protect yourself, you do what's necessary no matter what your age is," says 69 year old Ruth Jacobs.

Now Linda says she'll never feel that vulnerable again.

"I know how to use the gun, I'm proficient and I'm not afraid to use it," says Linda Lathrop.