What's behind the surge in women gun owners?
April 16th, 2012
04:00 PM ET

What's behind the surge in women gun owners?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Gun sales are booming, and women are a big part of the reason why.

The Daily Beast reports on the National Rifle Association getting in touch with its feminine side at its annual convention. Companies sell all sort of things: pink firearms, guns that are small enough to fit in a small purse, black and pink shooting targets and even a bra holster.

As the inventor of the Flashbang Women's Holster tells The Daily Beast: "Nothing comes between a girl and her gun."

Of course if you're carrying a gun there, you want to be doubly sure the safety is on. The National Sporting Goods Association says nearly 47% more women are shooting today compared with 10 years ago, and a Gallup Poll last year found almost one in four American women own at least one gun.

The number of women at NRA shooting clinics has skyrocketed in the last decade. Gun ranges hold ladies' nights and enrollment in one women's conceal-carry class in Oklahoma is reportedly up 400%.

Female gun enthusiasts give different reasons for the spike in ownership. Some cite security while others say it's an extension of gender equality. The NRA denies it's going after women over any other demographic group. They say they want everyone to be a member of the NRA.

Overall, gun sales are way up in the U.S., with big profits for gun makers such as Smith & Wesson.

Some say the trend is because of fears of a second Obama term and a potential tightening on gun restrictions. Others say a weaker economy makes people feel unsafe.

Here’s my question to you: What's behind the surge in women gun owners?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

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Filed under: Guns
soundoff (121 Responses)
  1. JM from DFW

    They now understand that the new Gun Laws give them the right to murder someone legally!
    Call the police after you decide on justice your way!

    What happen to liberty and justice for all?

    April 16, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  2. JD in NH

    I wasn't aware there was one. Guess I'm a contrarian since, as a woman and former police officer, I sold mine.

    April 16, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  3. Beth-Ontario, Canada

    They need guns to fight the War on Women. After seeing the way Hilary Rosen was humiliated on CNN the other day only to find out that Ann Romney saw her comments as and "early birthday present", I could be tempted to get a gun myself and I live in Canada. I think Hilary needs to be given an apology because Ann Romney is obviously as political as her "Sweetheart" and can take give as good (or bad) as she gets.

    April 16, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  4. Russ in PA

    Like Mrs. Tuohy said, she's always packin'... Most be a reason for that sentiment.

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    April 16, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  5. tom Bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    Republicans are opposing the Violence Against Women Act. I hope women aren't arming themselves to take out Republicans. They might be thinking if Congress won't protect them, they need to protect themselves. Back to the wild West.

    April 16, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  6. Ben in MD

    Women are determined to show that they can be as violent, as stupid, and can display the same biases and prejudices as their male counterparts.

    April 16, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  7. Bill

    It's clear that women want more power, and if anyone examines the manner in which the men are handling
    the government, they will realise that women are about to make a big change and toss the men out of the Senate and Congress and the white house.

    April 16, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  8. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    It is probably for protection. The Republicans always bring up the Second Amendment saying that every man has the right to bear arms. I guess women feel the same way. With the way the Republican Party has been attacking women and contraception along with vaginal probes, maybe they feel the need to buy a gun before that right is taken away from women. I know if I was a woman after watching a man being knocked unconscious on a Baltimore Street robbed and stripped of his clothes I would be carrying a bazooka.

    April 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  9. Doug Ericson

    Yikes. Now we got cell phone driving terrorist with guns? My next car is going to be an armor plated yellow school bus so I don't get killed. Doug, Pepperell, MA

    April 16, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  10. Gary in California

    My wife has always been uncomfortable with firearms and especially when the boys were young. I saw a change in her recently because she felt more exposed. Our oldest son joined the Marine Corps and the youngest son went off to college while she was left at home with news reports of escalating crime. With her bodyguards gone she wanted to learn how to shoot so we took her to the range a few times. Turns out Mommy can shoot very well. Go figure.

    April 16, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  11. Richard Texas

    When unemployment and the crime rate go up people flock to the gun stores. I think people and especially women are making a preemptive strike on becoming victims. If you own a gun and are properly trained with it you can choose to use it or not use it to defend yourself. If you don't own a gun your options are limited. Face it Jack, America is not a very safe place to live any more.

    April 16, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  12. Karl in Flint, MI

    Perhaps to protect themselves from Republicans and other crazy people.

    April 16, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  13. John from Alabama

    Jack: There is a big mark up in the price of handguns, therefore; gun shop owners offer real deals to ladies. What woman can pass up a sale. More firearms ranges are starting to appeal to women for new memberships. To some women and men firing a gun is a great stress relief. Women who have survived a beating at the hands of man usually will not allow it to happen again. They will buy a gun. Many women are killed with their own weapon, because they do not fire the weapon to kill.

    April 16, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  14. Phyllis G. Williams

    What's behind the surge in women gun owners?

    Whatever the surge is, they should remember Matthew 26: 52
    "Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword"
    also (Revelation 13: 10).

    April 16, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  15. Mark in Oklahoma City, OK

    Jack, with parking lot kidnappings and home invasions on the rise men are helping their wives, daughters and sisters to become proficient at self defense instead of just waiting to become a helpless victim. I took my 24 year old daughter to the gun range last week. It was the first time she had ever shot a gun and she was a pretty good shot. Guess what she's getting for an early Christmas present?

    April 16, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  16. Tony from Southport

    They may be afraid that Barry Soetoro will be President next year.

    April 16, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  17. Eric - Houston

    Nothing, this is just another example that however some would wish to segment people into groups, that people are individuals and some women, just like some men, wish to own guns. Some women don't believe in abortion, some evangelicals are democrats, some hispanics believe illegal immigrants should be deported and many people do not like being categorized.

    April 16, 2012 at 2:06 pm |

    Because they are loosers. People who feel the need to own all of these guns are full of it.

    April 16, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  19. steve

    The answer is simple,they want to be able to protect there self.If they are being robbed or worse,putting a couple bullet holes in the guy might just change his mind. steve in il.

    April 16, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  20. Bill of New Mexico

    People have either been a victim of crime, or people have a friend who has been a victime of crime.

    Even if you are in a city, police are 5 or 10 minutes away, and, one often is unable to call 911.

    One does not have to be a helpless victim.

    Most attacks are sudden, a surprise, and over in seconds. The perp intends that you are disabled as fast as possible.

    Perhaps it is women's empowerment that women are getting handguns, concealed handgun licenses, and taking self-defense classes.

    April 16, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  21. Karen, Idaho

    Fear of being raped–fear of being attacked–fear of being stalked. I hope those women buying guns realize that they, too, could end up in Jail like George Zimmerman. It is too easy to pull the trigger without realizing the consequences.

    April 16, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  22. Loren

    Divorce rates, feminism, fear, common sense, take your pick. Males want to assume that women are afraid to own guns, but I would guess that it was morebased on tradition than anything else. Just another tradition shot up on the gun range.

    April 16, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  23. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    Men with knives.

    April 16, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  24. james robert in north carolina

    Don't know about the rest of the country but down here in North Carolina the women are looking for protection. Crime is widespread and many are afraid to go out after dark. Momma owned a gun and could shoot it too. The gals in NC are learning that momma was right. The best defense is a good offense.

    April 16, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  25. Annie Oakley

    Pistol envy.

    April 16, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  26. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Fear is driving many of us to do things that we never considered for a long time. Robberies, murders and home break-ins are way up. People feel more secure if they have a weapon close by and yet some in our country think that we need to provide humanitarian help to other countries. How many people are murdered in the US every day?

    April 16, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  27. Ed from California

    It's probably to defend themselves from their mouth-breathing men in their lives! Besides Jack.......show me where it's actually written in the second amendment, that says an American (non-well REGULATED Militia member) can own and carry a gun?? It doesn't......oh yeah, they taught me to read in public school. This might be the reason Willard wants to get rid of the Dept. of Education. Because the N.R.A wants a non-educated public to keep buying guns. And the politicians want to keep us all stupid, so their Handlers can keep on ripping all of us off. The Haves and Have-nots are closer that you might think. Land barons and the Surfs, here we come.

    April 16, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  28. jk in MN

    Hard to say Jack, maybe the Republican legislative attack on women's rights?

    April 16, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  29. Paul From soon to be break away Republic of Texas

    Because of role model types like Sara Palin. It is simple they all just want to be pistol packing Mama's.

    April 16, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  30. Ken in California

    I don't know Jack, but it looks like it will be a long time until we can call our shooting gallery of the United States, a civilized society. Thirty thousand gun deaths a year and climbing as more men and women, and children get their hands on guns. All this for another man's hobby?

    April 16, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  31. joshua

    Because a lot of women have turned conservative over the past 3 years. Thanks Obama.

    April 16, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  32. ImALibertarian

    I think it means that women are paying attention.

    April 16, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  33. Brad, Portland, OR

    The surge is due to increased paranoia and conspiratorial thoughts on the part of right-wingers, driven mad by the sight of a black man in the White House.

    April 16, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  34. Paul P.

    I am sure men themselves are a large reason why, but to me emulating the worst characteristics and behaviors of men isn't gender equality. I expect women to strive for better than that. That all said I don't mind a woman being a gun owner because I'll better my bottom dollar they'll be more responsible and treat them more seriously then a man. Women won't treat them like an extension of their ego.

    April 16, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  35. Richard Page Rapid City, SD

    in case you haven't heard, there's a war on women, Jack. they are simply getting prepared.

    April 16, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  36. Rebecca from Georgia

    Jack, its simple. Women are tired of being taken advantage of so they get a gun for protection. Truthfully I would get one to if I felt I could use one. I prefer a dagger though. To me its better and more easily concealed and I don't need any special permits to have it.

    April 16, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  37. Rick, Medina, OH


    I think it's all sad ... I really do. More than half of all incarcerated people in the world live in U.S. prisons. I guess we'll have to build a few more ...

    Medina, OH

    April 16, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  38. kim smith, Dodge City, Ks.

    Everyone seems to be preparing for a civil war in America. Rich against poor, conservative against liberal, women against men, but most importantly, the government against the people. I think it will be interesting to follow the crimes of passion murder rates for the next ten years, and see how many women actually use those guns on another human being.

    April 16, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  39. Davew, Orlando, FL

    It’s just one more path to gender equality, and I say that’s a good thing. Some bozo who thinks he can have his way with the “weaker” sex may get the surprise of his life. Besides, the more honest people that have guns, the less opportunity the thugs on the street will have. Unfortunately, that will not affect the thugs on Wall Street, (or the thugs in Congress for that matter).

    April 16, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  40. Patsy, Tx

    Security and "gender equality" for sure. If a man breaks in to rob or harm, the gender equality kicks in. She will
    shoot him with the same force he would use on her. Quickest on the draw wins. I'll bet on her.

    April 16, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  41. David of Alexandria, VA

    I think it's a form of empowerment, Jack. It's a dangerous world. We don't have cops on every corner or every jogging trail. You may have the right to go where you want but if someone jumps you, you are left with the emotional and physical scars associated with that victimization, comforted only by the warm thought of your moral certitude and little else. Whether you use the gun to defend youself is up to you - knowing you can make that choice can make you feel less the helpless victim. Besides, shooting as a sport and a skill is fun.

    April 16, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  42. RickFromDetroit

    It is the Conservatives Solution to everything. How much money can we "SAVE" and this has resulted in fewer law enforcement officers than what we need, and now we are taking the law into our own hands.

    I wonder if the Conservative Crowd has calculated the cost for all of the new "Women's Prisons" we will need for all of the accidental murders we are going to experience?

    April 16, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  43. kattyusa

    All one needs to do is watch the news, read the papers, watch TV CSI's and there is the answer. Since law-enforcement seems unable to protect because of laws on the books that protect the criminal, we need to do it for ourselves. As long as the Justice system molly-coddles the criminals then we need the little bit of security of having guns for protection not only of ourselves but our families.

    April 16, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  44. MNResident

    Men and Women–If you really get right down to it, they really AREN"T that different on some issues, and self protection and self preservation is one of those issues........

    April 16, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  45. Gigi Oregon

    My feeling is the Republicans have messed in their nest by wanting to decide what women can and cannot do. There is no furry like a women's scorn or something like that. This conservative woman is waiting to vote for President Obama in November. Patient and with a smile on my face...

    April 16, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  46. Pete in Georgia

    Probably due to our American law enforcement professionals having their hands tied by liberal left wing judges and courts who convict 1/10 of the guilty predators roaming our streets and neighborhoods. After all we musn't offend any cold blooded felons must we.

    April 16, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  47. Ron WPAFB

    The GOP War on Women is responsible for the surge in Women Gun Owners

    April 16, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  48. Larry in Houston

    What's behind the surge in women gun owners?
    Answer : ( a 2nd obama term ? ) I highly doubt it – (a potential tightening on gun restrictions ?) I'd say so – I used to be a member of the n.r.a. but I ended up dropping out. It's a good thing I guess, but I quit hunting, and go fishing in my spare time, instead. As a matter of fact, I'm about ready to give up fishing. Especially when you can go "krogering" to do all of that, Jack. It gets expensive when you start buying the bullets / shell casings / fishing line/ hooks & the whole 9 yards, not to mention that you have to clean the game.

    April 16, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  49. Jen -Seattle,Wa.

    Major Reason is the Low Class Sex Harassment that 3rd world vulture cultures Spew onto American Women with impunity, while the State Dept Laughs it off as if its Flattering When Sexual Innuendo is the new lowest common denominator in Communication as the Educations of Hate Spew Verbal abuse and assaults by Evil migrants constantly gettin away with scorning women.

    April 16, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  50. Renee, Illinois

    I'm a woman who has never felt the need to own a gun. I've been told how to load and shoot a gun more times than I can count – my dad was a cop and my brother was in the army – but I never really cared for guns. But I have to admit that lately I've been thinking about getting one, and it has nothing to do with Obama. It's all the Mayan calendar stuff bringing out the doomsday people. Ever heard of a self-fullfilling prophecy? If enough people think a catastrophic economic collapse is on the way or are ready to use the next natural disaster as an excuse to run amok, maybe I should think about defending myself from the 'doomsday preppers'. Even if the world doesn't fall apart, enough people thinking it is could cause a lot of trouble just because they think it's the 'end of times'.

    April 16, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  51. Bob in Kansas City

    Lots of ladies feel safer with a firearm is the reason sales to them are increasing I suppose, or, they're buying before all those communists Rep. West claims to have knowledge of demand a UN resolution to go door to door and confiscate all privately owned guns.

    April 16, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  52. Paul in NC

    You already answered your own question: it's the NRA. If the gun nut lobby continues to get their way everyone will be carryiing. Men, women, children, even pets. The more the merrier. Stand your ground, shoot your neighbor, mow down a few dozen people at Walmart. What great fun!
    When are people in this country goung to grow up and realize that Gunsmoke was just a TV show?

    April 16, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  53. Frank Poynton from Los Angeles

    Any suggestion that fear of second term for President Obama is driving up gun sales to women is pure nonsense propagated by the extreme right and the NRA. The number of women in both Law Enforcement and the Armed Services continues to rise due to gender equality. They carry guns and are seen as role models and thats a good thing. It takes skill to improve marksmanship so perhaps women are just broadening their skills at a gun range. If that results in a greater feeling of security then so be it, but, you can get robbed in any economy. The pink guns are an indication to me that the gun makers are also cashing in on a fashionable trend.

    April 16, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  54. James Rupert

    The left wing would say "Men with Guns." The right wing would say, "Men without guns." I say that it's got to be "Snookie." Now, can we get that out of the way and start really working on solving our nation's problems?

    April 16, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  55. Greg Cox of Bremerton, WA

    Increased gun ownership for women was predicable. The Obama administration is the primary cause...think Holder's Fast and Furious, think illegal immigrants in the millions, think of Obama himself telling Sarah Brady that "we must work under the radar" when it comes to gun control, think Hillary Clinton's "let's hide behind" the United Nation's gun ban initiative, and so on. As well, think of the number of perverts running around in America. Some high on drugs, some wanting to steal from you to get money to get high while others wanting to burglarize your residence to get money to get high. Our country runs amok with perverts these days. One can only feel safe when one is armed...the police and sheriff forces aren't going to protect us. Where I live, it takes them 30 minutes to "we have other priorities" if we simply call 911 to say there are riff-raff and/or prowlers in the adjacent city park. Have gun...Feel safe!

    April 16, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  56. James Rupert

    The left wing would say "Men with Guns." The right wing would say, "Men without guns." I say that it's got to be "Snookie." Now, can we get that out of the way and start really working on solving our nation's problems? – James Rupert, Lincoln, Nebraska.

    April 16, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  57. Kevin SD CA

    Women don’t want to be subject to what is happening to women in Africa because of the corrupt policies they see being handed out by Obama and his socialists!

    April 16, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  58. Greg Turman


    Conservative women are motivated by family protection
    Liberal women (Manson followers for example) are motivated by anarchy
    Gregory Turman

    April 16, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  59. Mr. D

    All is fair in love and war. You have a gun, I now have a gun. I can hear the gunfire echoing through the contry as the battle of the sexes takes to the streets. Where is the nearest bunker?

    April 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  60. Mitoosense Ft Lauderdale Florida

    Should have never let them vote

    April 16, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  61. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr Cafferty:

    This will cause a whole new respect for PMS and men will be yelling YES MAAM and opening doors !

    April 16, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  62. Max Brooks from Florida

    They are getting ready for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  63. Mark from New Jersey

    Could be that "state-mandated rape" laws, and not allowing women to decide what to do with their own health care being instituted by states like Texas and Virginia makes them feel they have to defend themselves. I don't blame them. Either that or they realize that soon the addled state legislatures won't pay for police, like they don't want to pay for teachers or postal workers.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  64. Bill N

    The art of pragmatic corruption is about to get a third eye.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  65. Jenna Roseville CA

    What's behind the surge in women gun owners?

    I would imagine that the surge is due to more women living alone or are single parents in need of additional protection since police departments have been slashed nation wide.

    We could have had more police, fire fighters and teachers if the GOP had passed the Obama jobs bill but, party politics is more imporant to them then putting Americans back to work.

    Roseville CA

    April 16, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  66. Bill from Woodland, CA

    Although I have no doubt there is a surge, I suspect most of the sales are men buying guns under their wives name.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  67. Joseph Feng

    Just like the men who join the NRA, they are compensating for thier other shortcomings, whther physsical, mental, or social.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  68. Aayilah from Maine

    If you can't beat 'em...join 'em!......

    April 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  69. Rob

    I think its fear brought on by the industry about President Obama. Whats funny is its the ATF,the FBI, and various police commissioners and police associations that advocate to take and control your guns. I bet I can count on one hand how many of these guys voted for the President and would have fingers left. President Obama isn't interested in our guns, his plate is full.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  70. kt

    America is full of lies, its a shame how ignorant we are. i dont recall obama implementing any gun laws to stop gun ownership. americans are irresponsible so yes anyone can get a gun criminals, felons etc.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  71. robert hoare

    Stupitity and ignorance, what else

    April 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  72. Frank

    What is behind the increase? Have you seen the recent shootings in public, at schools and during home invasions? Have you seen the number of rapes and assaults in major metropolitan areas? That is behind the surge in gun ownership by females. Ask yourself this questions, in case of a natural or man-made disaster where society breaks down even temporarily and or partially. Less than desirable people will be going house to house to loot and pillage. If nobody in the general population had guns they could simply go house to house and have their way with all your belongings and your daughter. Thankfully there is the 2nd Amendment and on my block they might be able to get through a couple of houses, but I know a couple of homes that will return heavy fire. Thank God for the 2nd Amendment.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  73. Bob in Texas

    That's too easy Jack, one part marketing and two parts fear mongering. Works every time whether it's karate classes, pepper spray, electronic take down devices, or guns.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  74. Flyingwolf from Manchester, NH

    One word, Jack, advertising. Advertising creates a need and then tries to sell us the means to fulfill it. Advertising.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  75. A Southern Lady - North Carolina

    The motto of the Republican-supported NRA is the answer to gun violence is-- more guns. Bubba must have his arsenal of guns to feel "safe." How sad for our county.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  76. Cee.Louisiana

    It is probably a combination of all of the reasons you gave......but thr NRA is also on a mission, one only has to listen to Wayne LaPierre for a glimpse into his depravated radical agenda........

    April 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  77. James (Florence,New Jersey)

    Why don't we all just strap on guns and blow each other away? then we no longer have to be concerned about Iran,North Korea or terrorists.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  78. Walt

    Well, if Freudians are correct with their psycho-sexual theories about the symbolism the gun holds for men, perhaps for women the gun satisfies what Freud called phallic envy.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  79. deborah ballweg Seibert, co

    I live alone in an aging community, next to an interstate, and 35 miles from law enforcement. I am getting security bars and doors on my house, I will have to be able to defend myself and my property. I have absolutely NO faith in the government to maintain a civil society.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  80. j. p.

    The reason for the surge in female gun owners can be attributed to the decrease in police officers. As cities cut back their L.EO. force, people are having to arm/defend themselves. Police just come to mop up the aftermath...Well, it wont be me they are mopping up!!!!!

    April 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  81. Mary, Pennsylvania

    I had a phone call from the NRA they informed me that under the Obama administration the government were going to take our guns away . Anyway, people cling to their guns and their bibles so maybe the companies that publish bibles had better get ready.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  82. gg

    because america headed for the last round up-realy don,t matter whose president

    April 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  83. Betty in San Diego

    Jack, Jack, Jack – it goes back to the animal kingdom. Once the man has done his "job", the raising, care and protection of the young is the responsibility of the female. Always has been; always will be. NEVER get between a mom and her "cubs" – we will TAKE YOU DOWN. Now, we just have a legal right to do it (like men have always had) and it not be blamed on PMS, emotions, or weakness. In a man's world – it takes a woman to get the job done.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  84. Kira

    Crime is growing worse and worse. Criminals don't care that I have my children with me- they will STILL attack! I want a gun more today than I ever have in my life. My husband is all for it. He's retired military and is quite happy that I am not against guns as much as I use to be. Crime on the rise is MY reason for wanting to "pack" a gun. Sad but true.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  85. Nelson

    I believe the reason is domestic violence. More women are actively protecting themselves and their children from abusive family members. I propose a companion study to see if there has been an increase in female family member shootings of other family members.
    Santa Monica

    April 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  86. 1grasshopper

    Two things. One they finally realized that they may have to take care of themselvesif a man isn't around.Two that they can handle a gun just as good as a man can.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  87. Dean

    Only one thing is behind any increase in gun ownership. That is a feeling that protection is needed. Why do we feel we need protection? Because we have a new element in this country. That element comes from more violent countrys. Many of them have shown that laws don't matter to them, be they laws governing boarders or laws agenst stealing, or many other laws. Americans are scared when we encounter people with this set of vallues. And we being a much less law breaking people feel we need to be prepared to protect ourselfs.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  88. Rae

    Women need to protect themselves, physical violence against women grows and continues every day. Protective orders are just paper an doesnt stop an abuser. The police always arrive after the fact. I believe we are in this battle alone.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  89. Dan in Albuquerque

    Jack. it's the NRA and the ultra right male gun owners who believe God gave them the right to own guns and push others to own them. Sure, some women want them for protection, some actually like hunting, fishing and a sense of brelonging if it's a family that owns a lot of them. But, the propaganda that the Democrats have a secret plan to take everyone's guns is nothing but a load of garbage. They haven't even mentioned it. Republicans haven't even mentioned that Americans killed each other as fast as Assad kills his own [eople in Syria. We have close to 10,000 a year killed, while Canada had 200 and England not many more. Handguns are for killing people, and we take full advantage of it.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  90. Thomas Whatley

    Women like many men have no confidence in the justice system to protect their property or their lives. The liberals have gutted our justice system so if you want your family to live somewhat securely then you had better be able to take care of business yourself. I suspect that there are many more lives saved from harm by being able to self protect yourself than there are lives hurt by misuse of guns by law abiding citizens. Why don't you get the NRA magazine and read about people protecting themselves from harm by being able to have a gun at hand.

    Thomas from Arkansas

    April 16, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  91. David from Montreal

    Right wing paranoia is infecting women; It was only a matter of time. A few more years and the US will descend into similar anarchy as seen in Mexico.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  92. Jerry

    Now even women gun nuts need a gun to face their fear of the world. Perhaps gun ownership should be mandatory. Then no one would be afraid, right?

    April 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  93. H.R

    I would guess it must be the fad to own a gun now.
    If people are going to go hunting it is o.k. but to own a gun just to be vogue is silly.
    How many children have shot someone or themselves because they happen to be living around.
    Be careful where you carry it like the picture you showed, you might be the one that gets shot.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  94. Lisa, Seattle, WA

    When my sister was in her 50s she went to a gun store and told the clerk there she wanted to buy a pistol for protection. After the required waiting time, she picked up the gun and took it home and used it. In her suicide note, she apologized to the clerk for lying to him.
    There's not much more to say there.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  95. T. Cremonte

    WOMEN. Women are behind the surge. Why the media behaves as though women have to be lead or prompted to take action to better themselves is beyond my comprehension. Women are police officers, firefighters, and in the military. Violent crimes against women continue. Women understand their rights and are tired of being cast as victims. They are willing to take action to put food on the table via hunting and if needed to protect themselves and their families.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  96. Carmen in New Orleans

    I understand the sense of security learning how to use and even owning a gun might give a woman...but glamorizing guns and gun accessories seems irresponsible to me. A hot pink gun in a lace holster is still a deadly weapon so lets hope women that buy into this kind of marketing remember that.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  97. Maureen

    With the surge of our pets being murdered by gun-happy cops, some of us wish to have some protection for our pets FROM the cops.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  98. Diane - Sweet Home Oregon

    Q. What's behind the surge in women gun owners?

    A. The surge in Men gun owners. Fear.

    I come from 38 yrs. of living in the San Francisco Bay Area and we never felt the need to arm ourselves. We come here to Sweet Home (pop.8k) and I'll bet ya we're the only household in all of Sweet Home without a Liberty Fatboy Gun Safe.

    It's scary. I found my Obama for President '08 lawn sign CUT UP! into shreds within 24hrs..

    They allow guns on campus here!!!!!!!!1

    April 16, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  99. Timm

    There is a lot of talk about liberty and the Constitution right now (thanks to Ron Paul.) Men and women who never thought much about it before are getting their concealed carry permits here. I think that many Americans are reading the Constitution for the first time and are realizing how important it is to keep the President (and the government) from taking away their protections ... including the second Amendment. By the way, I'm 60 years old and just got MYpermit to carry a handgun. I feel good about it.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  100. Luis

    The fear mongers that have put a certain section of the population of this Nation into a frenzy of fear . Mean while the people we really need to fear are waiting and planning their next move.

    Puerto Rico

    April 16, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  101. AB

    Jack, the answer to your question is this: Most victims of violent crime–rapes, assaults and murders are women!! Almost all victims of domestic violence and abuse are women!! This is the primary reason gun sales are surging among this demographic group. A gun saved the life of a young Oklahoma mother and her baby when two grown men broke into her home. A gun saved the life of a prostitute when a john attacked and attempted to kill her. This is a no-brainer Jack!!

    April 16, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  102. chris north bay ontario

    because of all the other nutbars running around with guns

    April 16, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  103. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – This trend is not new. NRA has had a push for women owning guns going back two decades at least. NRA has also had "Do Not Be A Victim" training for women for decades. Marion Hammer was NRA President for years starting then. NRA foments anti-Obama paranoia, but Obama and his Administration have done nothing against gun rights, not even appointing "anti-gun" judges. This issue is a non-issue. This trend is an old trend. The Constitution assumes the US would have militia instead of a standing army, so private citizens had to own guns and bring them when mobilized. Most Civil War troops were militias with their own guns. Federal gun control did not exist until 1934. Standing army did not outnumber militias until World War II. NRA has responded to change by denial and resistance. Evidence suggests that gun control per se increases rather than decreases abuse of firearms. Same futility as alcohol prohibition. Left wants to outlaw guns. Right wants to outlaw drugs. Both policies futile and stupid. Women with guns are less dangerous than lunatics with guns (Loughner) or juvenile gangsters with guns. If the amount of guns were the actual problem, it would be worse in Switzerland, where every family has an automatic rifle in the closet. If eliminating guns eliminated violence, there would be little violence in Japan, where murder and suicide rates are higher than here but knives are used instead . The issue is culture, not guns per se. Idiotic to have the Second Amendment without universal firearms training (Constitution assumes regular training.) If George Zimmerman were properly trained he would not have shot Trayvon Martin.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  104. Angela University Place wa

    Seems like "fighting for womens rights" have taken on a whole new meaning... GOP may need to rethink the NRA Guidelines...

    April 16, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  105. Jack Dempsey

    Jack, Out here in the wild west you need a gun to protect yourself no jobs , no tax base, less cops, slower police response, more crime Shootings at schools on the job Not even safe to got I-Hop and a government that can't be trusted. You All Be sure to Blame the guns! Jack from Nice, Ca.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  106. Evelyn Dreiling

    I think part of it is the role models on TV cop shows – the women portrayed are getting tougher and more "no-nonsense" (more like men) by the minute, but many women lack the physical strength and power/control that men have. This creates a vacuum which a gun fills very nicely.
    But when the emergency departments get enough cases of "Calamity Janes" shooting their boobs off accidentally while buttoning a blouse, they'll dispense with these "stoopid"-looking bra holsters.
    Women, be smart: set the example for the NRA devotees, ditch the guns ! You don't need them ! Use your brains instead.
    Evelyn, from North Vancouver, Canada

    April 16, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  107. Judy in Tempe

    Every time a child kills another child with an "unloaded" gyn or every time there is a drive-by shooting or every time some looney kill some one, I stand up and cheer, "hurray for the NRA!" Thank you somuch for allowing us the "right" to kill!

    April 16, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  108. B4Cons

    To protect themselves from the GOP Manadated Vagigi Probes.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  109. KM from Georgia

    Women are aware of what's happening, of what's going on around them. Many of these women are taking charge of their lives, careers, and safety. It's alright if you don't like guns or the idea of being able to protect yourself and your family, but too many women have become victims of violence, or know someone who has been victimized by violence. Enough of these women are ready to fight for their safety with the same force that has been used aginst them.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  110. Small Town U.S.A.

    Have you ever called the police an no one came? I know of several cases of it in Pa., protect yourself. There maybe police officers but they would rather not come to a domestic violence call. That is a fact Jack.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  111. Dave

    All you anti-gunners please provide your home addresses as I have a sign to put in your yard. It reads "this home is not protected by any form of gun". Wonder how many will respond. When seconds count the police are only minutes away. My family member was raped and impregnated by a rapist. If she had a gun things could have went badly for that pig. Of course it could have been the other way but a huge percentage of cops are also shot with their own guns. The larger the population of minorities in this country the worse the crime will be as it is not about race but about culture.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  112. Louis in Rhinebeck, NY

    The same thing that's behind the surge in public shootings in this country. It's too easy to get access to a gun in this country, and people are uncertain about the future and scared, so what could be easier to fool yourself into feeling safe than buying a gun?

    April 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  113. James Wittmeyer

    As a Marine in Vietnam I carried a gun. Not to protect myself, but to kill people. Forty years on, I still see those people in my nightmares. Don't be fooled. When the bullet leaves the barrel, YOU can never take it back. Never.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  114. Outyakazoo

    They're cathching up. Godd for them!

    April 16, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  115. Gordo from NJ

    Sadly, it is the result of effective marketing by the NRA at the service of the gun industry. Gun ownership has become a form of idolatry among some conservatives. As much as they fear Obama, these high-sounding mostly-Christian moralists seem to worship these instruments of death it ways that must surely contradict Jesus' teachings. It's more than a little sick.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  116. Tom in AZ

    Some of the motivation may be for personal protection, but in recent years the manufacturers have been making new firearms that better meet the needs of women. Such as lighter, less recoil and fashionable firearms. More women are enjoying target shooting, because they now have something that works for them.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  117. Les-Bend Oregon

    I do not the "why"–but as a police officer for 32 years–your new concealed carry apparel certainly adds a new dimension to the "pat down for weapons" concept.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  118. Reddog9500

    Because women don't feel as safe with pepper spray as they do with a Lady Smith .38. (That, plus the fact that they can't depend on their man to protect them.....he "retreated" and left them to deal with it.)

    April 16, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  119. barbara in nc

    It will stop after a few of them kill their own kids. Don't worry so much.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  120. thedude

    maybe its because everyone should have a gun! think about it...sure the first couple years would be insane(not anymore insane then today) but after that think about how polite people would be. I think women are finally catching in that a firearm levels the playing field no matter how big someone is. You can have a 4' 6" woman with a 357 mag in her pocket take out that 400+ pound mugger. Everyone should have a gun, its the 2nd amendment for a reason. Our founding fathers knew the top 10 things they wanted in this country and they put owning a firearm at #2. Its there for a reason people. guns don't kill people....people kill people!!

    April 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  121. San from Knoxville, TN

    I'm a 70+ year old woman and the popularity of guns mystifies me. In my many years of life, I have never had an encounter when I wished I had a gun. Perhaps I should feel fortunate. I read about a recent gun auction held by a local poliice department (confiscated weapons) and a woman was quoted as saying she just had to bid on one because it had such a cute pearl handle. Hearing statements like that make me more fearful of the woman with the gun than a possible criminal encounter. Perhaps if I lived in a bad part of town and was single, I would invest in a weapon, but generally I think it's a fad that will pass.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm |