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Gun ownership among women steadily rising

A shift in firearm purchases, and in attitude.

By Rich_Maloof Dec 20, 2012 3:13PM

According to national polls and reports on firearm retailers, gun ownership among women in the U.S. has been steadily rising. The trend is coming to light following information provided by authorities that Nancy Lanza, who was shot by her son prior to his rampage on the Sandy Hook School in Newtown, CT, owned the weapons used to kill her, 20 elementary schoolchildren, and six adults.

Photo: David Sutherland/Getty ImagesNancy Lanza has been linked to the two handguns and the semiautomatic rifle Adam Lanza took to the school, and to two additional hunting rifles.

NBC News reported in March that, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, gun-store owners have recorded a 73 percent increase in female customers in recent years (dates not specified).The number of women buying guns specifically for personal defense has climbed by more than 83 percent. 

The use of firearms for sport among women has likewise seen a substantial rise. According to the National Sporting Goods Association, female participation in target shooting rose from 3.3 million in 2001 to 5 million in 2011, a 51 percent increase. Female participation in hunting lept 42 percent from 1.8 million to nearly 2.6 million over the same period, reports the Scripps Howard News Service this week.

Related: A global view on American gun violence

A Gallup poll released in October 2011 also contained insights into women’s changing relationship with firearms. A record-high 43 percent of American women self-reported a gun in their home or somewhere on their property (compared to 52 percent of men), up 7 percent from the prior year.

Asked about ownership, 20 percent of women surveyed said a gun is owned by another household member and 23 percent said they personally own a gun (compared to 46 percent of men). Fifty-five percent of respondents reported no gun in the household.

Related: Newtown to the media: 'Enough is enough'

The subject of the poll was America’s waning support of stricter gun laws. Gallup found the number of women favoring stricter laws on the sale of firearms fell 26 percent in 10 years, from 76 percent in favor of stricter laws in 1991 to 50 percent in 2011.

Women in favor of a ban on handguns fell from 51 percent to 31 percent over the same period. The decline followed a national shift in attitude from a majority to a minority favoring gun bans and stricter laws.

Bing: Obama calls for action on gun violence now.

Photo: David Sutherland/Getty Images

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Dec 23, 2012 8:57PM

Honestly there are quite a few problems leading to these mass murder incidents, but I blame the media the most for always giving the shooter so much publicity.

Dec 23, 2012 8:52PM

Gun control advocates are so blind to reality it's laughable. Concealed Carry is not legal in Chicago and guess what! They are the leaders in gun violence because criminals know how easy it is to robbed an un-armed citizen.

Dec 23, 2012 8:45PM

This is not a good thing...women can't shoot straight and are likely to panic and scream.









Just kidding!

Dec 23, 2012 8:42PM

OBAMA's failure to address gang violence as the majority of gun crimes in this country shows what a coward he is!


1 white kid goes berserk for every 400 minority ****s in the country.

Dec 23, 2012 8:40PM
I'm armed and female!  Wouldn't have it any other way.  Too many loonies out there.  I'm well trained  and not about to be a victim.
Dec 23, 2012 8:32PM
he only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. A 1997 high school shooting in Pearl, Miss., was halted by the school's vice principal after he retrieved the Colt .45 he kept in his truck. A 1998 middle school shooting ended when a man living next door heard gunfire and apprehended the shooter with his shotgun. A 2002 terrorist attack at an Israeli school was quickly stopped by an armed teacher and a school guard. A 2002 law school shooting in Grundy, Va., came to an abrupt conclusion when students carrying firearms confronted the shooter. A 2007 mall shooting in Ogden, Utah, ended when an armed off-duty police officer intervened. A 2009 workplace shooting in Houston, Texas, was halted by two coworkers who carried concealed handguns. A 2012 church shooting in Aurora, Colo., was stopped by a member of the congregation carrying a gun."

The most loss of life, 1927, didn't involve a gun.  Dynamite was used.  If someone wants to do this there are numerous ways and armed responsible citizens are a deterrent.
Dec 23, 2012 8:25PM
As A retired law enforcement official I always encouraged woman to actively be responsible for their own protection. The reality is that no matter how hard L.E.O. try they can't be everywhere. I have quite a few female friends, physician, pharmacist, nurse and mothers that have taken a concealed carry class have the permit and are now better able to defend themselves and their families.
Dec 23, 2012 8:15PM
Because bad things happen to good people.... You need to carry a "piece."
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