LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Some Texas Department of Public Safety fiscal statistics are revealing older people are at the top of the list for applying for concealed handgun licenses. But several East Texas CHL instructors say that isn't the whole truth.
In 2012 alone, nearly 4,000 57-year-old's in the Lone Star State received their CHL, which is the highest age group on the list.
"When you get to 57, one, you're wiser and you're more mature and you don't really have the same defense mechanisms that you used to," Al Patterson, a CHL instructor in Nacogdoches, said.
But despite the statistics, CHL instructors say they are actually seeing more women in their classes.
"Women are beginning to realize that it's their responsibility to take better care of themselves. They're getting out and learning some thought processes and being made more aware of what to look for," Patsy Dunks, a CHL instructor in Lufkin, said.
Out of the 580,000 active licenses in the state, approximately 30,000 belong to women. But Patterson says most of his classes are filled with females.
"Women don't have as many bad habits and they are just outstanding shooters when they learn the right way to do something," Patterson said.
Dunks says women and the elderly are generally the most targeted by criminals, and learning to shoot a gun is empowering to both groups.
"As the baby boomers start reaching maturity, they began to realize that our government is not going to take care of us. We have to take care of ourselves," Dunks said.
And Patterson agrees.
"East Texas, in general, we live in a society where we have very nice Godly people as a whole. But we're very defensive. And we're going to protect our own and we are going to protect our loved ones," Patterson said.
Around 500 concealed handgun licenses were issued last year in Angelina County, while approximately 400 were issued in Nacogdoches County.
While it doesn't seem like much, both are near the top of the list for smaller town's counties.