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New NSSF Release: Women Shooting Demographic is Exploding

Female Shooter at RangeNSSF, or the National Shooting Sports Foundation, has released a new report highlighting female shooters as the fastest growing demographic in the industry. 55.6% of women that participated in the study relayed that they intend to purchase a new firearm in the next year. This finding and a host of others illustrate the growing trend of firearm ownership among women.

SHOT Show 2015

At the SHOT Show 2015, the NSSF President discussed the contents of the report, titled “Women Gun Owners: Purchasing, Perceptions and Participation.” He relayed that in the past 10 years, the amount of women owning firearms and enjoying target shooting and shooting sports has skyrocketed. He added that the report helps us understand why more female shooters are choosing to purchase guns and accessories and what shooting sports are most popular among women.

The Study

The report was put together in 2014, and the poll included women from age 18 to 65 who own at least one handgun, rifle or shotgun. Over 33% of the women polled were new firearm owners, having bought their first firearm within the past 3 years. This new group of firearm enthusiasts, who are mostly in their 20’s and 30’s, shows the evolving demographics among females choosing to own guns. The report even has a new infographic, entitled “Girl Power,” which enhances the study.

Female ShootersThe Findings

Jim Curcuruto, the NSSF’s head of Industry Research & Analysis, indicated that the female demographic is a major propellant in our industry, and that the manufacturers, retailers and gun ranges are making changes to their business model to attract and retain female shooters by catering more to their tastes & needs.

  • The most popular firearm among women is a semiautomatic handgun, with 56% of female shooters reporting that they have at least one. Shotguns came in second, with 50% of female shooters owning at least one.
  • The 3 factors influencing women in their purchases are Fit, Quality and Practicality.
  • Women who bought a gun in the last 12 months spent approx. $870 on guns and over $400 on gun accessories
  • Most female shooters indicated their purchases were not based on impulse and that they carefully considered their purchase well in advance before deciding
  • Nearly all of those polled, 95%, have been target shooting and 58% have been hunting before
  • More than 42% of female shooters have a concealed carry permit for the state they live in
  • Nearly 73% of female shooters reported having taken at least one training class

According to the NSSF’s report, female shooters place a heavy premium on safety, and that the main reason for their firearm purchase was for personal protection and/or home protection. Women shooters are especially drawn to pistol shooting, clay target shooting, and longer range shooting sports. They were not as into Three-Gun competition shooting.

According to the NSSF, female participation in target shooting rose 60% to 5.4 million people between 2001-2013, and rose 85% for hunting to 3.3 million people during the same period. The full release is available to members of the NSSF and to journalists/media upon request.

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Art R. has written 160 post in this blog.

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