Firearms have traditionally been a man’s domain, with males outnumbering females by more than 3 to 1 when it comes to gun ownership. However, this trend has started to change in recent years, due in no small part to extensive efforts by the gun lobby to capture female customers. (You can read more on these efforts in our eBook: Guns for Protection) If this reflects more girls taking an interest in hunting or sport shooting, all the more power to them. But unfortunately, many women, like men, are falling into the gun trance and taking an interest in firearms for all the wrong reasons.
Should women purchase a gun to protect themselves?
The answer to this is a definitive no, unless you have some sort of very unique situation that would warrant it. The statistics clearly show that having a gun doesn’t offer personal protection; it places you in greater danger. For most of the self-defense situations that women are likely to encounter, other non-lethal weapons are far more effective. (See our section: If They Only Had A Gun.)
Statistics on women & guns
Here are some facts and statistics related to female firearm use:
- Three million women participated in hunting in 2013, and women made up approximately 20% of shooting and hunting related sales in 2013. (Pels, 2016)
- 7% of women personally own a firearm, compared with 35.1% of men. (ibid)
- Somewhat counter-intuitively, women are more likely to use guns to kill a stranger but are more likely to kill a significant other or a family member using poison, a knife, or a blunt object. (Fischetti, 2013)
Women & gun violence
- 4,882 women were shot to death in 2014. (Pels, 2016)
- 53% of all American women murdered with a gun were killed by family members or intimate partners. (ibid)