The gun control debate has resurfaced in the wake of several mass shootings over the last several months, from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Sutherland Springs, Texas. 

In Texas, women make up a growing group of consumers who buy guns and keep their weapons concealed for reasons including safety and comfort.

More than 268,000 women hold active handgun licenses in the Lone Star State, up 35% from 2014. Their rising numbers have led to a booming shadow industry of firearm accessories, including bra holsters, concealment leggings, and leopard-print gun holders for their cars.

In an effort to document women’s roles in modern gun culture, photographer Shelley Calton took portraits of her gun-toting friends in Texas for her book, “Concealed, She’s Got a Gun.”

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Some Texas women see carrying a concealed handgun as more than a right — but a matter of life or death.

As of January 1, 2016, state law permits them to carry a handgun openly or concealed so long as they get a license from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

More women are packing heat than ever. The number of women issued a license to carry rose from 22,000 in 2010 to 103,000 in 2016, according to the Department of Public Safety.

Source: Texas Department of Public Safety

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