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‘Firearms and Fashion’ looks to promote safety, fashion

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — In a two-year span, the number of women obtaining gun permits increased by more than 46,000 according to the Indiana State Police.

That’s why a local group believes a weekend fundraising event targeting women is the perfect way to help empower them to safely protect themselves and their families.

The Well Armed Woman group wants to not only promote safety but offer fashionable options for holstering firearms – something they say can be hard to find. Modeled after a New York event, Saturday’s Firearms & Fashion: A Concealed Carry Extravaganza already has more than 300 people signed up.

The mission of The Well Armed Woman is simple – educate, empower and equip women.

“Women are protectors. Mamas are protectors,” said Sheila Rosario, state leader for The Well Armed Woman. “We want to protect our families. We want to protect ourselves. That’s what we’re doing.”

Rosario said with the increase in gun ownership among women there is a need for options when it comes to safely carrying firearms no matter what’s being worn.

“If you’ve been a shooter for any time you have a bag of holsters in your closet somewhere where you think, ‘oh this one will work,’” she said.

The event will offer not only gun education but a fashion show featuring a variety of holsters for concealed carry.

“You can walk by a woman and you wouldn’t know whether she was carrying or not,” Rosario said. “And that’s the whole purpose but you have to find the right holster for your handgun.”

Twenty-eight vendors will be on site offering everything from purses with specially designed pockets to belly band and bra holsters.

“You have a strap that goes around the front of your bra and the clamshell that has her gun in it and she sort of just sticks it up right under,” Rosario said.

But Rosario said the event isn’t really about fashion or even guns – but more about empowering women.

“Empowering women as shooters as self-defense – as being able to defend ourselves,” she said. “And it is very empowering you know. You walk different. You’re just a different person when you’re carrying.”

Fashion & Firearms will also feature self-defense demonstrations, speakers including Olympian and two-time Top Shot contestant, Gabby Franco.

Attendees will be able to bring their guns – which will be cleared at the door – so they can find the proper fitting holsters.

Fashion and Firearms is 1-5 p.m. Saturday at The Crane Bay. Tickets are $50 and are available here. The group also has a Facebook page.