MELBOURNE, Fla. - Tara Dustin is locked and loaded. The 24-year-old joined Black Hawk Security a few weeks ago, hoping to get her armed security license for work.
"I am a girly girl. I get my nails done. I like makeup. I like dancing. I like being girly, but I will still carry a gun. There is nothing wrong with being a girl who carries a weapon," Dustin said. "I always told myself, no I am not interested. I will just stick with being unarmed security, then my managers came to me about being armed," she added.
Rebecca Pless started the company a few months ago in Melbourne, offering classes a few times a month for both armed and unarmed security licenses. "A lot of times, men look at you like can ‘she do this?’ But I want women to know, yeah most certainly can do this," Pless said.
"I feel very confident about doing the things that I need to do in a safe manner," Dustin said.
The female business owner said her goal is to push women out of their comfort zone. Their mission is to inspire, educate and empower women to put safety back in their hands.
"I chose to accept the challenge and that’s what it is about. It is accepting the challenges that are thrown at you in life," Pless said.
With a string of mass shootings dominating the headlines, Pless said the need for more security guards is more pressing than ever. The owner said they are expanding to Daytona and Orlando, hoping to reach even more people in Central Florida.
"I get so excited when I heard a woman on the other side of the line. I’m like sweet, because there are so few and far between. I know they're gonna go out there and rock it," Pless said.