LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — According to the Firearm Industry Trade Association, last year there were 5.4 million first time gun buyers. Many of those sales from the Latinx community with one gender in particular breaking a taboo.

At The Range 702 shooting range in Las Vegas, general manager Kris Chanski said she has seen her gun sales almost double. “Theres a huge stigma being broken now,” Chanski told 8 News Now.

The Range 702 has seen a change in Hispanic females purchasing firearms. “Now there are women carrying guns,” Chanski said. “Five years ago our conceal carry class was probbaly 90-100 percent men and it’s starting to even out now.”

Victoria Martinez has lived in Las Vegas for 14 years and says growing up, her concept of guns was very different than how she views them today. “Only people that were bad had guns, we never had guns in our house or close to us,” Martinez told 8 News Now. “In the past years, especially after covid, especially how everything has changed in the environment I feel a little less secure, so last year I got a revolver.”

Rochelle Larson, another Latina who recently got a firearm, says she did it for protection. “It’s more scary to be without one than to not have one at all,” Larson said. “It’s been empowering for me to be not so scared walking to my car or from my job. It’s very empowering for me so I can protect my own self.”

Chanski says even though gun purchases are up there is a gap when it comes to training. Her store offers free classes for beginners as well as advanced.