The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) released the results of a 2014 study in early 2015 that showed more than half of the women included in the survey intended to buy a new gun sometime in the next year. “That finding and many others reflect the growing popularity of firearms ownership by women, who represent the fastest growing segment of the shooting sports,” it concluded.
A more recent study, conducted by Shoot Like A Girl, found that participation by women in the subsequent three years has increased by as much as 189 percent in some disciplines. Target shooting was the lead over all other shooting-related activities, the organization said.
NSSF findings concur that the highest female participation is in target shooting. “Nearly all women (95 percent) have tried target shooting…,” it said. “The women’s market is a force in our industry, and manufacturers, retailers and shooting ranges are making changes to their products and services to satisfy women’s tastes and needs,” said Jim Curcuruto, NSSF Director of Industry Research and Analysis.
“It is a known fact that women have been the fastest growing demographic for several years now, and we continue to grow,” said Karen Butler, president/founder of Shoot Like A Girl. “There is a chance that our data is a course correction for the industry, too, based on the responses received after our query of a sizeable number of women.” Survey data from the organization was compiled from the responses of more than 2,600 women over a three-day period.
The earlier NSSF study determined the majority of female gun owners have at least one semi-automatic handgun—58 percent, the highest result. Forty-two percent of those who responded had a carry permit for their state, with 73 percent attending at least one training class, eager to continue their education in the sport.