A lot of people are buying guns and have been for months now. Ever since it became clear that COVID-19 had hit our shores, people have been buying firearms. There are a number of reasons why, of course. While COVID-19 and concerns related to that might have been an early driver; since then we’ve seen plenty of other reasons to buy a gun.
However, a lot of our understanding has been based on speculation and anecdote, which isn’t hard data.
Luckily, the folks at A Girl and A Gun Shooting League have done a little digging to quantify things a bit.
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:
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 firearm 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
They also found that a lot of women weren’t just buying guns, but taking advantage of training opportunities, which is good news.
However, in the name of fairness, we also need to note a couple of shortcomings of this survey. In particular, there is a sampling bias here. The survey really just shows why AG&AG members bought guns, which may or may not be reflective of society as a whole. These women were possibly more likely to purchase a gun in the first place than many other women, for example.
Still, I’m of the belief that if this isn’t an exact breakdown of why many women have purchased firearms this year, it’s a damn close approximation. This at least fits with the anecdotal data I’ve seen over the last six months or so and, as such, it’s probably fairly representative.
We know there are a lot of women out there who are buying guns, and now we have a glimpse as to why. That makes me wonder just how much of this current trend will impact the coming election. After all, women are a big demographic for the same politicians who push anti-gun policies. If more and more women do become active gun owners and Second Amendment supporters, will that be enough to sway these politicians to drop the anti-gun rhetoric?
Or, will it result in them being trounced in the election?
Hat tip: Guns.com