Babes with bullets:
Female only gun camps on rise in US
Debbie Ferns: The three-day camps, which cost £400, are exploding across the country and in January next year a US TV show will begin documenting the female gun trend.
Debbie Ferns travels the USA organising "Ladies Only Gun Camps" complete with pink weapons to encourage women to take up shooting.
Mrs Ferns, 55, from Tucson, Arizona, has also written a book called Babes with Bullets, Women Having Fun With Guns.
"Every woman in America should shoot a gun," said Mrs Ferns, who has more than 20 in her home collection.
She added "As long as the woman is a legal and law-abiding citizen I feel they should at least have a basic education in firearms safety."
The three-day camps, which cost £400, are exploding across the country and in January next year a US TV show will begin documenting the female gun trend.
"It started with one camp in 2004 and now we're planning 15 to 20 camps for 2010," said Debbie, who has helped recruit over 1,000 women to the shooting world.
"Women love it. We get schoolteachers, lawyers, nurses, women from all walks of life.
"They come in as novices and go away with a brand new skill using a powerful tool.
"Quite often they make new lifelong friends at camp as well."
The women-only gun camps are particularly popular with women over the age of 35, up to those in their 60s.
"We have so much fun and it's very exciting.
"It's a fast paced program and by the third day of camp we have women safely drawing from holsters and shooting on the move," said Mrs Ferns. "We often get emails from women telling us that the camp has changed their lives."
Her passion for guns began on her 45th birthday after her daughters left home.
While taking care of her father in a hospice he advised her to write a book and encourage women to learn about and use guns as sport.
So while most women relax with a bath at the end of a day's work Mrs Ferns is out dressed in pink with her group of ladies shooting firearms.
"It is a good stress release after a difficult day at work," she said.
"The people of our country have fought and died to protect our Second Amendment Rights.
"I think shooting sports empower women and improves their self-esteem.
"They also improve a woman's ability to protect herself and her family."
She added: "My daughters come to my camps and my twelve-year-old niece knows how to shoot a gun safely.
"We started her with an air gun and she worked up to a pretty pink 22 calibre hand gun.
"Everyone in America should know about guns and learn how to use them respectfully, after all how can you condemn something you have never tried?"
She went on: "If your kids are going off to college without knowing about guns then what happens when they get to a party and they encounter them?
"It's better to be educated than ignorant.
"The fact that a few wackos choose to use these guns illegally is not something I should be punished for."
The gun camps were set up by Kay Clark-Miculek, a many time national and world handgun champion, and assisting the pair are trainers Lisa Munson, Judy Woolley, Sheila Brey, and Annette Aysen