Background checks indicate retail gun sales have been on a record pace for the past 18 months, and gun store owners say women are a driving force behind the surging sales.
Self-defense sales boosted handgun sales during the past two-and-a-half decades, only to transition from pure self-defense to self-defense for women who find themselves in the home alone or to grandmothers who want a means to protect themselves and their grandchildren during a day at the park.
KPLR 11 quotes Steve King, owner of St. Louis’ Metro Shooting Supply, saying, “If I could open a new store it would cater to women and self-defense.” He said the last five years of his business has been driven by women with self-defense concerns.
King said his store offers shooting lessons every day, and “not only are the classes full, but women make up 80 percent of the class.” He added, “The more single household families we have where women are the head of the household, you have them realizing that not only are they only the provider financially and emotionally for children, but also the physical provider as well.”
King’s experience squares perfectly with what has been happening across the country during President Obama’s second term. The Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) shows that twice as many women as men have gotten concealed carry permits since 2012. Moreover, the highest percentage of permits has gone to non-whites. According to CPRC, “The number of women with permits has increased twice as quickly as the number of men with permits,” and there is evidence that “suggests that permit-holding is increasing about 75% more quickly among minorities than among whites.”
The growing involvement of women in the self-defense handgun market has changed the way guns look–the way they are designed–and has led to exponential growth in guns in .380 and other calibers with lower felt recoil. These changes mean women who have never fired a gun can now purchase one that fits their hand and quickly and comfortably acquaint themselves with it, allowing proficiency with shot placement if under duress.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.