More Women Than Men Cite Self-Defense As Their Reason for Buying a Gun

Woman range train AR mcx

According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, gun sales reached record highs in 2020 – the FBI processed more background checks for gun purchases than any year on record prior – and nearly half of those sales went to women.

But this phenomenon wasn’t stoked by the tribulations and uncertainty of the COVID 19 pandemic. Nearly half of all gun sales had gone to women the year prior: In 2019, the figure was around 40% and, as early as 2017, the number of women purchasing guns for personal protection increased substantially.

That last bit – the declaration of protection being the motive to buy a gun – is a sentiment shared by far more female gun owners than male gun owners. According to Pew Research, self defense is the only reason 27% of women say they own a gun, compared to just 8% of men (who cite other reasons, like collecting and sport, for ownership).

For women, the decision to head to a sporting goods outlet, fill out paperwork, and lay their hands on the grip of a handgun, shotgun, or rifle isn’t just a fleeting decision. At least 43% of women gun owners say they regularly attend a shooting range to hone their markswomanship skills.

Contributing to the increasing percentage of women attending shooting ranges is a new type of self-defense class: Woman-only shooting instruction courses are cropping up across the country, inviting women to learn to shoot more effectively and, as importantly, teaching the fundamentals of effective concealed carry, and when it is appropriate to use lethal force against a threat.

Carmen Santana, a single mother from Texas, has been practicing her shooting skills at Mission Ridge Shooting Range and Academy, just outside San Antonio. “[Learning to shoot] was more toward protection than anything,” said Santana. “I have two little ones at home. Learning the proper way to handle it, the proper way to hold it,” she said, citing her reasons for starting the course six months ago.

— Valentina in More Women Are Becoming Gun Owners for Personal Protection

2 Responses

  1. Women are learning that if signs worked then a shirt with “gun free zone” wording would be all the protection they need.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *