Shooting on the Rise with Women Gun Owners


When it comes to gunpowder and lead, Miranda Lambert isn’t the only gal singing a tune about gun ownership.

Women represent an increasing number of gun owners and gun users, a trend growing in staggering numbers. According to the National Sporting Goods Association, women who participate in target shooting increased more than 50 percent in 10 years, and there was a 42 percent increase in women hunting. On top of that, estimates indicate women represent more than 25 percent of target shooters.

But it’s not just women participating in shooting and target practice. In 2011, the National Shooting Sports Federation reported a 73 percent increase in the number of female customers at gun shops and approximately 23 percent of women report owning a gun.

The increase in handgun, rifle and shotgun ownership means more than just additional guns being purchased by and for women. Paired with this increase in gun ownership is an increase in popularity for female shooting clubs and clinics around the country. In 2010, the NRA reported a 20 percent increase in attendance for their “Women on Target” shooting clinics.

And it’s not just women interested in hunting who are joining these clubs. Some reports say many women feel vulnerable at some point in their lives, whether because they have been the victim of domestic abuse or for another reason, and they want to feel protected. One exercise described at a female shooting session entailed women carrying a beach ball and running across a shooting course while attempting to shoot a target. The exercise was designed to help women prepare for if they had to carry their child out of a dangerous situation.

Whatever the reasoning, it’s no surprise that these clubs are gaining popularity, and will likely continue doing so into the future. The website Girl’s Guide to Guns features a list of female-friendly shooting ranges arranged by state, which you can see here.

As with most trends, gun manufacturers and retailers are following this increase in popularity, creating guns deemed perfect just for women. Both Remington and GLOCK offer lines of rifles and pistols (respectively) marketed just to women.

So like it or not, boys, the girls are gaining serious ground in gun ownership. Be prepared to see more women at your local shooting range or during hunting season if these trends are any indication for the future.

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