ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Here’s something unexpected: gun sales skyrocketed this holiday season and a surprising number of new owners are women.
Today we looked at why some women preferred firearms over more feminine stocking stuffers this year.
This Christmas Santa got Trisha Sharp from Belvidere a .22 rifle.
Sharp said, "I wanted a gun because I went shooting with my brother in the past over the summer. I really enjoyed it so I wanted to take it up as a hobby and i also really enjoyed it cause all the crime rate nowadays."
Local gun shops say sales are way up and the holidays have a lot to do with it.
Eric Sonnenberg from Forest City Firearms said, "Gun sales are really off the charts."
Two days before Christmas the FBI ran more than 100 thousand background checks for guns the second busiest day in history.
Eric Sonnenberg from Forest City Firearms said, "A lot of people give gifts, a firearm for a gift for Xmas. December is still in hunting season. The third reason is the incredible increase we've had in strong arm robberies in the Rockford area."
Forest City Firearms has sold in the month of December alone about a half a dozen firearms to females and those numbers are rising across the country. They can even get a gun that's pink.
Sonnenberg said, "I sell a lot more guns a much higher percentage to females than I’ve ever sold before."
The National Rifle Association says female target shooting has doubled in the last decade. Sharp said, "I enjoy it. I guess the rush. How intense it is? It's fun."
If you are one of the women that got a new gun this Christmas make sure you don't shoot it off at midnight on New Year’s Eve. That’s been a big problem in the past.
Christmas was the second biggest day in history for gun background checks--the first was Black Friday 2011. So 2011 is setting all kinds of records for gun sales just in the last couple of months.