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Armed mom schools Congress on booming female gun ownership: ‘Refuse to stand by’

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FIRST ON FOX: Women are considered one of the fastest-growing groups of gun owners in the United States, and a House Judiciary subcommittee this week will examine how gun ownership “empowers women across America” as crime spirals in many areas of the nation. 

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Federal Government Surveillance will hold a hearing Wednesday morning, and a trio of female gun experts and instructors will appear to advocate for Americans’ Second Amendment rights. 

Fox News Digital exclusively obtained a preview of testimony from one of the witnesses, Beth Alcazar, a U.S. Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) senior training counselor. 

“I am a writer. I am an instructor. I am a doctoral candidate working toward my terminal degree in curriculum and instruction. But, first and foremost, I am a mother. And I have made a personal choice to live as a mom with a gun,” Alcazar will tell the subcommittee, chaired by Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs. 

NATIVE AMERICAN WOMEN REFUSE TO LIVE IN FEAR AMID SOARING CRIME, ARM THEMSELVES AND TAKE GUN CLASSES

Alcazar is the editor of Concealed Carry Magazine and has authored a handful of gun training documents for the USCCA, including “Women’s Handgun & Self-Defense Fundamentals” and “Children’s Firearms & Safety Fundamentals.”

She will reflect in her testimony that women across the nation have taken self-defense issues into their own hands and are refusing to become the victims of violent crimes. 

“For the women who walk across a dark parking lot every night after work. For the Realtors who show houses to strangers every week. For any young women who have shadows in their past. And for moms, like me, with children in tow. I think they would all agree: They refuse to stand by, idle and helpless. They refuse to become someone’s victim. They refuse to allow harm to come to the ones they love,” Alcazar will say in her testimony. 

WHY GUN OWNERSHIP IS SPIKING AMONG THIS DEMOGRAPHIC

Since the pandemic, gun sales have hit record numbers, including when an estimated 23 million firearms were sold and more than 21 million background checks were conducted in 2020. The numbers smashed records and notably spiked at the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 before jumping yet again in June of that year as protests and riots spread across the nation in response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Gun ownership has especially boomed among women. Between 2019 and 2021, as gun purchases exploded, about half of gun customers were women, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Women were the most likely new gun owner demographic during those years, researchers found.

Alcazar said crime has spiraled and women face “violent criminals — many with evil intent,” who “are terrorizing us.” But where violence and crime lurks, an armed woman has a better chance of defending herself from the unexpected, Alcazar’s testimony explains. 

FLORIDA WOMAN TURNS TABLES ON ARMED EX WHO SHOWED UP TO APARTMENT, KILLS HIM WITH 1 SHOT

Beth Alcaraz

“This shouldn’t be the way that we live,” Alcazar will tell the subcommittee. “But it serves as a clear reminder that law-abiding citizens should be able to defend themselves from danger at all times. And any solution to better protect ourselves, our children and our communities should start with our God-given right to self-defense.” 

The mother of three’s testimony explains that, through her work training Americans on firearm safety, she has seen “firsthand, a rich diversity as scores of American women are purchasing, training with and carrying firearms in the name of female empowerment.”

“For many women, this self-defense awakening has resulted in a new source of certainty, security, responsibility and equality that we might not have otherwise had,” her testimony states. 

ARIZONA WOMAN SHOOTS, KILLS REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER ATTEMPTING TO BREAK INTO HER HOME

The USCCA, where Alcazar serves as a certified instructor and senior training counselor, was founded in 2003 and provides American gun owners with training and education on firearms and self-defense liability insurance through its membership program. The group includes more than 10,000 instructors across the nation, many of whom have reported seeing an increase in women seeking gun training. 

Fox News Digital spoke to a USCCA instructor in New Mexico earlier this year who said that Native American women specifically were increasingly signing up for gun safety classes in the face of crime and violence. 

Beth Alcaraz

OVER A DOZEN WOMEN FEND OFF VIOLENT EXES, CRIMINALS AS GUN OWNERSHIP SOARS

“Almost every week we have a Native woman or someone close to family saying, ‘I’m really interested in taking this class and picking up a firearm because you see the numbers with the missing and murdered indigenous women and people,’” Joe Talachy, a USCCA instructor and owner of Indigenous Arms 1680 Ltd. Co., told Fox News Digital this summer. 

Alcazar argues that gun ownership and training have fundamentally changed her as a person and mother, and she finds peace knowing that she is her “own protector” and her “family’s first responder.” 

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“The more I’ve trained, the more I’ve realized that I don’t have to wait for someone else to care for me or protect me. I am my own protector. And I am my family’s first responder. And being able to keep myself and those I love safe? I don’t think there’s anything more important than that,” Alcazar’s testimony says. 

The hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday. Geneva Solomon, owner of Redstone Firearms in Burbank, California, and firearms instructor Shirley Watral are also scheduled to testify.

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