Abby Ross never spent time around guns until a little more than a decade ago. "I grew up on Staten Island," she said. "Hunting or gun use was not part of our family traditions."
Now she handles guns with ease for hunting, sport and training. And she's one of a growing number of women venturing into the world of guns, either as part of the outdoor experience or for self-defense.
Women increasingly have become a profitable new target customer for gun-shop owners and firearms manufacturers.
"Women should not be afraid to know how to handle a weapon when they use them," said Ross, whose husband, an Army Special Forces soldier, taught her when they met 14 years ago.
Ross, who looks far younger than her 36 years, held 5-month-old Mary, the youngest of her eight children, at the Great American Outdoor Show, held here this month.
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