The number of concealed-carry permits has skyrocketed in Washington state, especially among women.

According to the Seattle Times, the number of state residents who received concealed carry permits tripled to 62,939 between 2005 and 2012. There are now 451,000 residents with a Concealed Pistol License (CPL), and more than 100,000 of them are women.

The reasons for an increase in women getting a CPL are many, but Seattle Times said a common theme among women they interviewed was the importance of self-defense.

The requirements for obtaining a CPL are that the applicant must be at least 21 years of age, pass a criminal background check and be fingerprinted. The applicant will be rejected if he or she has a felony conviction, an outstanding warrant, a commitment for mental illness, a dishonorable discharge from the armed services, has used an illegal drug use within the past year, and various other reasons. Firearms training is not required, the Seattle Times said. To get a look at all the requirements, click here.

Anette Wachter, a member of the U.S. National Rifle Team and a resident of Belltown in Seattle, told the Seattle Times that she got her CPL three years ago.

“I carry because I feel I am responsible for my own safety,” she said.

“The women I know who are getting their CPLs are women excited about shooting recreationally and the self-defense side comes second, as an added bonus,” she said. “Women are realizing they can do more to protect themselves. It’s a fun, interesting, daring and empowering thing to do … know you may be able to protect yourself gives you a bit more confidence that you don’t have to be a victim.

“I do feel everyone should have safe gun-handling training,” Wachter added. “But I don’t believe it should be a requirement to have training in order to buy a gun or have a CPL because of the fact that some women really may be in a dangerous situation and may need that protection.”

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