The landscape of gun ownership is changing. No longer is it strange or unexpected to see women at the firing range or a local gun show, and more and more gun sports are finding an audience with women – even millennials. New and developing trends in the firearms world are forming to include these women, but what are those trends? And why is it that female gun ownership rates are climbing? Below you’ll find descriptions of a few of the changes in the world of gun ownership to help answer some of those pivotal questions.
New Gun Owners on the Rise
While some sources will claim otherwise, there’s quite a bit of research that shows that gun ownership has been on the rise in recent years. Specifically, there’s been an increase in the number of new gun owners in America, and in Massachusetts alone the numbers have risen as much as 66% in the last five years. Part of this trend can certainly be credited to the increase in violence throughout our country, from terrorist attacks to school shootings to everyday violent crime, individual citizens are feeling less and less comfortable with the idea that the only thing standing between themselves and the criminals is a police officer. But the huge surge could also be due to the increased interest of a previously uninterested population – women.
Compact Model Designs
Sensing a change in their purchasing audience, many gun manufacturers have started producing models that target a female audience. These guns are typically made to be smaller and lighter in weight so they fit more easily in the hand without sacrificing any of the stopping power necessary for either target shooting or self-defense. The Glock 43 is a great example of this balance. Its small size makes it easy to conceal in a comfortable holster or inside a bag or purse, and its grip adjusts itself to work the same whether you’re left or right handed. Women are finding themselves more and more comfortable owning a gun that fits easily into their hands and lifestyles.
Why Are More Women Buying Guns?
Statistics from multiple sources prove it – more women are purchasing guns now than ever before, and largely they’re first-time buyers. Fifty-six percent of this demographic have chosen a semiautomatic pistol. The most common reason women have decided to step up and apply for their license is for personal and home protection. In addition to the need to feel safe, it’s hard to ignore the uptick in the visibility of female sports shooting competitors such as Julie Golob, Eva Shockley, and Jessie Duff. The easier it is for a woman to see herself behind the trigger, the less afraid she is to show up at the shooting range.
The number of female hunters is also on the rise, contributing to the growing number of gun purchases by women in addition to other forms of hunting gear, licenses, and ammo. As the sport itself opens up to accommodate more women both on a social and commercial front, many women are finding themselves inclined to accept that invite and follow suit as a gun-enthusiast.
Regardless of the reason why, it’s hard to deny that women are becoming less afraid of firearms and more aware of the benefits of a CCW, or concealed-carry weapons, permit. So, the next time you’re at a gun show or on a hunt, don’t be surprised if you spot a group of women just as eager to participate as you are.
Disclaimer: Always check with your state and local laws for restrictions before ordering ammunition, and make sure you use the correct ammunition for your specific firearm.