The hot new trend in Christmas gifts for women? Guns, the Washington Post reports. Gun store owners say more and more husbands are giving their wives firearms, and the Post points to a few specific examples, like the woman whose husband had an AR-15 specially designed for her, using lighter materials so it would be easier for her to handle. And female-oriented guns and accessories are on the rise—think bra holsters, guns designed so they're easier for women to shoot, colored guns, and even guns customized with a Hello Kitty theme.
Why? Experts say women have become more interested in guns as the culture shifts away from hunting—and because they want personal protection. In 2011, 23% of US women owned guns, up from 13% in 2005, and almost 80% of gun retailers in one survey say that female customers increased from 2011 to 2012. "I find that once they get a gun, the fever starts," says the founder of an organization that trains women to shoot. "They will literally get one for the range, one for walking the dog, one because it’s pink and purple. It starts. They love it."