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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

More from MSN Living:
Mom of mentally ill son asks for help
Whether - and what - to tell your kids about this tragedy
How to help your kids feel safe

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Dec 24, 2012 4:24AM
The reason why gun control laws wont work. I dare you to read it and watch the short video. 

Dec 24, 2012 4:14AM
If u do notice and check the fact, lots of these guns these kids are getting from there mothers guns, not dads, but just look and there is a fact that 90 percent of these actions come from moms guns. And it to show that many women have these guns because there is no father in the household. So look moms u need to start making sure ur guns are in the right places locked up. And women u buy stuff all the time in a quick moment then forget u even have it. Womens fault theres one thing to know women u are not as responsable as u think. And to hear of the story it sounded mom like to go to the bar alot. So she was a drunk and didnt pay that much attendion to he child. And u see why the boy got mad and went crazy. I bet he was raised with different men in the house everynight and mom was a drunk Ho.
Dec 24, 2012 3:49AM
I am pleasantly suprised by many of these women's comments. You go, girls!
Dec 24, 2012 2:23AM
i am a son of single mother who sacraficed her life for her children, my mother was also my dad. i am not surprised of women owning guns since they have to be mother and father.
Dec 24, 2012 2:16AM
Colorado driver, I think the nra is filled with a bunch of jackasses because they believe assault rifles , which are nothing more than murder weapons, should be kept legal. I don't have a problem with anyone owning guns. Murder weapons have no place in anyone's home.
Dec 24, 2012 2:15AM
You women helped elect obama hand in your guns
Dec 24, 2012 1:18AM
I would like to say to all you women out there buying a hand gun for self defense, You are ok in my book. My hat is off to you.
Dec 24, 2012 12:53AM

When my daughter got her driver's license, I bought her a pistol and taught her how to use it. Yeah, there are lots of things that could have happened but at least she had a chance. She is thirty.

Doesn't your daughter deserve a chance?

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