You know that it’s been a tough year-and-a-half to buy guns or ammo, or really anything shooting-related. I talk to many gun shop owners regularly, and anecdotally I knew more women were buying guns than ever before, but now the numbers are in and they are epic.
Nearly half of the gun buyers from the start of 2019 to April 2021 were women. That’s an unprecedented uptick in females buying firearms. No wonder shelves have been bare.
Zusha Elinson reports on the trend in The Wall Street Journal, writing:
Close to half of all new U.S. gun buyers since the beginning of 2019 have been women, a shift for a market long dominated by men, according to a new study.
The preliminary results from the 2021 National Firearms Survey, designed by Deborah Azrael of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Matthew Miller of Northeastern University, show an estimated 3.5 million women became new gun owners from January 2019 through April of this year. About 4 million men became new gun owners over that period, they found.
For decades, other surveys have found that around 10% to 20% of American gun owners were women.
The number of federal background checks for gun purchases hit an all-time high in 2020 of 21 million, according to an analysis of federal data by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, an industry trade group.
A woman receives shooting instruction at a meeting of A Girl & A Gun.
Researchers and gun store owners attributed the jump to fears driven by the Covid-19 pandemic and the protests, sometimes accompanied by violence, that followed the police killing of George Floyd, as well as the divisive atmosphere around the 2020 presidential election.
The National Firearms Survey polled more than 19,000 adults. It is one of the largest nationally representative, population-based surveys about gun purchasing ever conducted, Dr. Azrael said.
In addition to its findings on gender, the survey found that new gun buyers were more racially diverse than existing owners who bought more. Among new gun buyers, 55% were white, 21% were Black and 19% were Hispanic. Among new women gun owners, 28% were Black. The 19.6 million existing gun owners who bought more firearms since 2019 were 71% male and 74% white.
After seeing women coming forward with stories of sexual assault and harassment as part of the #MeToo movement, Wendy Hauffen, chief executive of the gun-rights advocacy group San Diego Gun Owners, said she decided to found NotMeSD in 2019 to combat sexual assault and domestic violence through more women carrying firearms. About 400 women have gone through the program which pairs them with women mentors who guide them in purchasing a gun and training.
Kanisha Johnson, 39 years old, joined NotMeSD and bought a 9mm Glock earlier this year. The father of her children nearly killed her by shooting her in the head in 2017, according to court records.
“If any type of situation like that ever happens again, I just want to be better protected,” Ms. Johnson said.
At first, the sound of her gun would give her flashbacks to getting shot, she said. But now, she said she feels safer having the handgun to protect herself and her five children.
Last year’s chaos and turmoil in the streets was a valuable reminder to Americans of how quickly things can turn dangerous, and how sometimes you’re the only person in the world who has the power to protect you. Women were already increasing their ownership of firearms to protect themselves, but for many, the brutal crime scenes across America’s big blue blob cities were enough to tip them off the fence and into the gun shop.
Action Line: If you, woman or man, have not already, it’s time to get your guns and your training now.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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