A new study indicates hunting is the second most popular activity for women who own guns. The report, titled Women Gun Owners –Purchasing, Perceptions and Participation and commissioned by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), indicates the number-one reason females own guns is self or home defense while shooting with friends and family ranks third.
- Nearly all women (95 percent) have tried target shooting, and more than half (58 percent) have hunted.
- The most commonly owned firearm by women 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.
- The majority of women report they are not driven to buy a gun on impulse but rather considered their purchase for months before deciding.
- 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. (See more details in the “Girl Power” infographic below.)
The report shows women are attracted to shooting activities such as practical pistol, clay target shooting, long-range shooting and plinking; they were not as active, however, in gun collecting or 3-gun and cowboy action shooting.
According to the National Sporting Goods Association, female engagement was up 85 percent for hunting to 3.3 million participants between 2001 and 2013, and grew 60 percent to 5.4 million participants for target shooting to 5.4 million during that same period.