No one wants to be put in a life or death situation, but thousands of Ohioans are preparing for one by getting conceal carry licenses.
"Carrying a concealed hand gun is a tremendous responsibility. It's something you don't take lightly," conceal carry instructor Don Mason said.
It doesn't take a lot of practice with a firearm to get the conceal carry license. In fact, all you need to do is take a 12-hour course, be approved by the instructor, pass a background check, and be finger-printed at your local Sheriff's department.
"You need to bring a driver's license, $67 cash if you have been a resident of the state of Ohio for more than five years, $91 if you have not, and a completed application," said Lt. Trica White of the Lucas County Sheriff's Office."You also need a list of every address you have had since you turned 18, a copy of your CCW certificate and a passport-sized photo."
But who are these people getting CCWs?
"The majority of our students have been women and they often outshoot the guys," conceal carry instructor Michael Lake said.
These days, more and more ladies are taking their turn behind the trigger.
"I think you have to be prepared for crime anywhere regardless of where you live, but in the neighborhood where I live there has been a rash of crime lately," says Sue Burkett during a conceal carry course at Clelands Outdoor World in Swanton.
The gun industry is also catering to the needs of the increasing number of women packing heat in their day-to-day life.
"There are many different types of holsters for women," CCW instructor Melissa Broshious said. "The flash bang is one of them. It goes under the shirt and clips to the bra. You can also get a thigh strap if you are wearing a tight dress."
But one major concern CCW instructors hear from people who want to get their conceal carry license is that they have young children in house and are concerned about bringing a gun in the home.
"You want your children to know about the gun and teach them safety and procedures and that it's not a toy," Broshious said. "The older and more mature the children are the easier it's going to be."
Also, many conceal carry instructors stress that passing the conceal carry course might not be enough to be proficient with your handgun in a life and death situation.
"If you're a conceal carry holder it is your duty to make sure that you are properly trained," said Michael Nemeth, instructor of two-day clinics on rifle traditional marksmanship with the Apple Seed Project. "The world is 360 degrees, it's not just a shooting range. You need to be prepared to use the weapon in the real world."
One of the places in northwest Ohio where you can get that training is the Black Swamp Carbine Group, which operates out of the Sandusky County Sportsman's Club in Gibsonburg. They offer a variety of courses, such as the use of barricades, moving while firing, changing positions, weak-hand firing and magazine changes. The group shares knowledge, skills, and drills that could save your life in a hostile situation.
"Under stress, people default to their level of mastery," Lake said. "It doesn't matter what you think you can do. It matters what you practice doing."