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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 23, 2012 6:53PM

Well obviously all you female gun owners are just mean conservatives that don't care about the human race............I LOVE YOU ALL !!


Nothing makes my day more than a piece of scum being put at room temperature by a registered gun owner protecting his/her home, property or loved ones. It's a present to all of society 

Dec 23, 2012 6:52PM
Come on people it the person behind the gun that is in total control of it and is the one responsible for its action. the weapon was just the tool, that they use. All the laws we have, have not stopped the violence at all. No new gun laws are going to stop it either, has already been done. We need to punish the ones committing the violence, and protect us. I am tired of the violent persons who get away with murder or mayhem. Our whole system needs a complete overhaul, form the top to the bottom, political and legal.
Dec 23, 2012 6:47PM

I am a woman and  I to own and carry a gun. My Father taught me to shoot  a gun when I was ten years old. I was alright leaving my gun in a locked box and in another room close by until some new males moved into a house that was too close to our home. They would approach me when I was outside. Actually walk up to my front door.

Of course I was not going to open our door to a stranger. When I was outside, these men asked for money to catch a bus or to do odd jobs in my house. Even when they saw the same person arrived and took care of our lawn.  I started to carry my gun when ever we are outside. One day I was stopped in my driveway, the garage door wouldn't open. One of these individuals yelled, "Hey, is the power off?  He was watching me come home and pull into my driveway. I now and will openly carry my gun whenever

I am outside. It is no longer in another room. It's odd, not one of them has said one word to me of late. I am not waiting for the police to arrive to save me. There is no way they can get here in time.  I will dial 911, advise the dispatcher of what is happening and protect myself and my family.    

Dec 23, 2012 6:44PM
In the Right Mind; Respect comes with a Gun, Disrespect is ALWAYS ill-fated..Simple deduction; it's NOT about Gun Control, it's about Gun Responsibility. A weapon in the wrong hands, children/youth,mentally-ill & criminals is the problem. Laws s/b very tough on that, then i believe WE are headed in the Right Direction..........p/s there s/b random vehicle checks on teenage drivers for weapons....
Dec 23, 2012 6:41PM
Women are fighting back being victims. They have the courage to do something about crime and handle it by being better prepared for personal attacks prompted by those predators preying on women being out by themselves making easy targets to assault, rob or worse. I think this a good thing for women to get the right training and right weapon to defend themselves in times when there are no cops around. It's a matter of survival and these days, survival means being prepared and having the right protection plan.
Dec 23, 2012 6:37PM
The FBI has said that the best way for a women to ward off an attacker is with a gun...There are times when we have to be our own first line of defense,and by far the best defense is with a firearm. That's why armed security at our schools will work because it has already been proven that arm security works and can be seen almost everywhere in our society..Where guns bans have been proven not to work...It couldn't be clearer what needs to be done.
Dec 23, 2012 6:28PM

I am a woman who lives in a state where citizens may only carry guns if they carry money or valuables for a business, so although I have a gun I keep at home, I may not carry it for self-protection. And we have one of the highest rape and car-jacking rates in the world here. And I drive isolated roads at night due to family and work responsibilities. I do carry it when I'm in a state that allows me to do so. I am trained, and I have a bedside safe, so if kids are present, I keep it there. I really do see guns as tools, and I think totalitarians pushing to limit access to or ban them are misguided and responding to the horror of emotional trauma when a tragedy occurs. They jump to make knee-jerk decisions. We need to stop reacting to the CT shooting before we end up making sweeping changes that could destroy women's ability to defend ourselves.

Dec 23, 2012 6:26PM

We spend Billions on forcing democracy to the people in the middle east and Asia. At home we hate to help our fellow Americans with good medicals and protection from fire and guns. We have Homeland Security from Terrorists and allow gun terror to our citizens.

In the USA, NRA wants everyone armed, in Pakistan and the tribes in Afghanistan they all carry weapons. It looks to me we are becoming just like the people we are fighting overseas. I guess the American Taliban are winning, and the civilized people are loosing.

Guns in school, guns shopping, guns on the beach, guns in church, guns, guns, guns. We spend about 700 Billion on our Armed forces to protect us and buy AR 15 for $700 to protect ourselves from our Government. So who are the stupid?

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