Gun Ownership By Women Is Booming

Women gun owners are becoming a significant constituency in America.

As The Inquisitr previously reported, the number of women participating in gun sports, such as target shooting and hunting, has steadily increased over the last decade. Estimates of the number of US women who are purchasing and learning how to use guns range from 12 million to 17 million.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) claims that women are the fastest growing demographic of firearms enthusiasts.

This growth is occurring perhaps because of, or despite, controversial efforts at the federal and state level to enact additional gun control regulations.

CNN has reported that “Almost 80 percent of gun retailers reported a rise in female customers in 2012, according to industry figures. In Florida, 22 percent of the concealed carry permits are held by women. In Texas, women hold 28 percent of concealed carry permits, up sharply over the past decade.”

Even the pro-gun-control New York Times has acknowledged this trend: “In the debate over firearms regulations, the voices of gun owners have largely been those of men. But at firing ranges across the country, a growing number of women are learning to use firearms and honing their skills… Though they may share a fierce belief in the Second Amendment with their male counterparts, female gun owners often learn to shoot for different reasons, their interest in and proficiency with firearms not just a hobby or a means for self-defense, but a statement of independence and personal power.”

On a national basis, gun sale background checks have set a new record, with women buying guns for self defense and/or sport presumably accounting for at least some of the increase. In 2013, according to the FBI, there were about 21 million background checks as compared to about 19 million in 2012. States that enacted additional gun control laws have evenn seen a spike rather than a reduction in gun sales. Texas was responsible for the most background checks of all the 50 states. The Rosenberg, Tex., police department even suggested on its Facebook page that men give the lady in their lives a handgun for this year’s Valentine’s Day as a “gift of safety.”

To appeal to this growing female demographic, gun manufacturers are apparently bringing to market lighter-weight weapons with slimmer frames and even custom colors.

Separately in gun ownership news, this past week a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit threw out concealed-carry restrictions in California, although the decision is subject to further appeals.

[top image credit: Shutterstock]