Women defending themselves

February 8, 2008 6:33:10 PM PST
For many women, personal safety has become a top priority.Now marketers are taking notice and making products especially for women.

Everything from pepper spray, that comes packaged in a device, made to look like real gun to Tasers that come in bright colors, including pink.

Some Houston women are turning to devices like these to protect themselves.

"If I were the mayor of this city I would make sure every woman had one of these," said Jim Pruett of Jim Pruett's Guns and Ammo.

Pruett, who used to host a morning show on KLOL radio, says women walk in on a daily basis looking for something user-friendly, but packing a big punch.

"We have three, maybe four women a day coming in now who are desperate to get something," Pruett said.

But are these devices safe? And are they legal? Self defense expert Charlie Leblanc says you have to look past the pretty colors and weigh the pro's and con's.

"If there only buying it, putting it in their purse and never using it or never practicing with it, chances are when they have to use it, they're not going to use it properly," Leblanc warned.

With the pepper spray gun, you have to be 18 years old and have the $300 to buy it. Compare that to basic pepper spray which costs about $20. Now, with the taser, which is also about $300 bucks, you will have to undergo a felony background check. If you follow those rules, both are legal to carry.

There are a few other things to think about when picking your device for protection. First Pruett suggests getting something that has multiple shots.

"Spitfire pepper spray, the marvelous thing about it is it has eight shots," Pruett said. "And certainly you should have at least eight shots."

Second make sure you're completely comfortable using it.

"It goes back to your comfort level, your training that you have and what do you feel comfortable with using and how are you going to use it to your advantage to get away," Leblanc said.

What do women think?

"Pepper spray can go back in your face and cause you problems rather than the other person," said one unidentified woman. "And it may not work so I would more likely to use this if i really needed something."

"It will stop them in their tracks and it won't get in your eyes," said another unidentified woman.

No matter what you choose experts say, do your research and get trained first.

If you would like to find out more on these products and others on the market, click here.

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