Retailers Taking Note: Women Buy Guns!

Grandmas pantry

Grandmas Pantry was well stocked.


Growing up in West Texas, I was well aware that women own guns. Every farmhouse I knew had at least one long gun primed and ready for defense against varmints of the belly-crawlin’ slithery kind, or the sneaky four-legged kind or the more rare, but more dangerous two-legged kind.

There was no question of what to do for protection where distance between towns is measured in hours, not miles. Men making a living couldn’t always be nearby to protect the women and children, so it was naturally up to the woman to have things well in hand when she was the lone protector.

Things have changed since I grew up – there are more and more houses out on the prairie, more subdivisions with manicured lawns and curbed and guttered paved streets. many of the residents have moved from the cities to be closer to the land, but there are plenty of women who grew up there, where mom or grandma had a 12-gauge stashed behind the pantry door to ward off predators who threatened the chickens, kids or children.

Today, those women are still active target and skeet shooters, and shooting is a family activity that doesn’t get much airplay in today’s modern media. But just because the media doesn’t notice, doesn’t mean it’s not relevant information to retailers.

Women are buying guns more than ever, and retailers are taking notice! In a 2014 study released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, were the following interesting conclusions:

Among the report’s findings:

  • The most commonly owned firearm by women in the study is a semiautomatic pistol, with 56 percent of women reporting they owned at least one. Shotguns ranked second, with 50 percent of women owning at least one.
  • Women say their purchases are mainly influenced by Fit, Quality and Practicality.
  • Women purchasing a gun in the last 12 months spent on average $870 on firearms and more than $400 on accessories.
  • The majority of women report they are not driven to buy a gun on impulse but rather considered their purchase for months before deciding.
  • Nearly all women (95 percent) have tried target shooting, and more than half (58 percent) have hunted.
  • More than 42 percent of women have a concealed carry permit for their state of residence.
  • Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of women reported having taken at least one training class.

Placing a premium on safety, women say the single most important reason why they decided to purchase or own a firearm is protection-both personal and home protection. Learning to hunt and going shooting with friends and family were also cited.

Credits: Women Owning Guns, Going Target Shooting and Hunting

In fact, in the NSSF’s Annual Retailer survey, more than 74 percent of retailers reported an increase in women customers in their stores in 2013 over 2012, not to mention the increase of women participating in target shooting (up 60%) and hunting (up 85%).


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