A Girl and A Gun Survey Confirms Why Women Are Buying Guns

Civil unrest and the 2020 elections were listed among the many reasons why the more than 6,000 AG & AG members surveyed purchased a firearm.

by posted on August 25, 2020
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Surveys impart a wealth of useful information, and are of particular interest to those who identify with the subject matter but who didn’t partake in the survey—curious to see where they fit into the results, or if they affirm their own habits or values. The most familiar source for many of these surveys is the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), to which many of us in the firearm industry regularly turn for reliable statistics on gun ownership and more. The latest one indicates that nearly 5 million Americans purchased a firearm for the very first time in 2020. The NSSF surveyed firearm retailers, which reported that 40 percent of sales were conducted to purchasers who have never previously owned a firearm.

In the world of compiling scientific data, results provided in August from a May survey is very recent. In what shouldn't come as a surprise to NRA Women, the NSSF data indeed confirmed that 40 percent of the first-time gun buyers were women, with personal protection listed as the primary reason gun owners were buying firearms, in particular semi-automatic pistols. 

Since the launch of NRAWomen.com in April 2020, we have been offering guidance on education and training for the millions of new gun owners who have joined our ranks, and we will continue to do so. We also appreciate that the female-centric gun groups and shooting leagues are also keeping their proverbial fingers on the pulse of gun ownership as it relates to what we’ve been hearing for years now is “the fastest growing demographic of gun owners.” That means us, ladies. Now a new follow-up survey of 6,000 women gun owners conducted by our friends at A Girl and a Gun under the title “Why Are Women Buying Guns?” offers further confirmation of the reasons. 

So where do you fall in this survey? We encourage you to check out the entire survey results at the AG & AG website, but offer you an excerpt of their very interesting data:

In July 2020 A Girl & A Gun conducted a survey of more than 6,000 members to specifically focus on women’s reasons and interests. Results showed that 43% of women joined AG & AG to practice self-defense skills, and 92% were in the process of obtaining or already have acquired their concealed or open carry permits. This complemented the NSSF survey data that 25% of first-time buyers had already taken some form of firearms safety course and 63% inquired about taking a firearms safety course in the near future.

In alignment with retailers’ sales, AG & AG also saw an influx of new memberships. In July 2020, memberships were up 150% over the previous year. A survey showed that 40% of respondents had been involved in firearms training for less than one year, and more than half involved for five years or less.

A follow-up survey of new first-time gun owners asked specifically what spurred them into seeking firearms training. Results showed:

In alignment with retailers’ sales, AG & AG also saw an influx of new memberships. In July 2020, memberships were up 150% over the previous year. A survey showed that 40% of respondents had been involved in firearms training for less than one year, and more than half involved for five years or less.

A follow-up survey of new first-time gun owners asked specifically what spurred them into seeking firearms training. Results showed:

  • 14% Riots/fear of mobs and civil unrest
  • 12% Upcoming elections/concern of bans
  • 12% Urged by family member/friend
  • 8% Just learned about training opportunities
  • 8% New rearm in household
  • 8% Lack of law enforcement resources
  • 7% Pandemic/uncertainty of access to essentials
  • 7% Fear of targeted violence/discrimination
  • 7% Rising unemployment/fear of crime
  • 6% Recent safety/crime experience
  • 4% Quarantine boredom/try something fun
  • 3% Ammo shortage/concern of waiting
  • 3% Stimulus check provided opportunity

The AG & AG survey results further proved that women are not only purchasing firearms, but they are investing in formal training as well. The survey verified that personal protection is the primary reason why women are seeking firearms training, and went further to enumerate the specific reasons, including civil unrest and the fear of bans after upcoming elections. Many women never considered formal firearms training as an option before learning about opportunities with A Girl & A Gun

While the NSSF study stated that retailers’ new customers were spending $595 on an average sale, the AG & AG survey confirmed that some women used their stimulus check towards the purchase of a firearm. Other members shared that they did not receive a stimulus check in their household, but felt it was time to make the investment in their first firearm for themselves.

While all of women who participated in the New Shooter Survey were new to firearms training, the data showed that most were completely new to guns themselves. More than half (52%) did not grow up with firearms in the home. Some had firearms in the home but didn’t shoot (33%), and some had not shot a gun since they were children (15%).

For more, and to learn from women “In Their Own Words” their reasons for purchasing a firearm, please go to A Girl and A Gun.

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