Skip to main content

Women & Guns Part 4: Why It's Important for Women to Own Guns

Editor's Note: This article is part 4 of our series about the National Shooting Sports Foundation's (NSSF) report, "Women Gun Owners: Purchasing, Perceptions and Participation." We invite you to read part 1 here.

Research shows that the single largest reason motivating women to buy guns is personal defense.

Part 4

We've explored nearly every facet of firearm ownership for women except for a very fundamental question: What are the reasons motivating women to purchase and own firearms? In G&A's fourth and final installment of the NSSF's report, we examine the driving factors of a woman's interest in owning firearms.


According to the survey, the biggest motivator for a woman's firearm purchase is personal defense. Nearly half of the women in the survey cited either self-defense (26.2%) or home defense (22%) as the "most important reason to own a gun." Hunting was also a significant motivator for ownership at 15.3 percent, but no other factor garnered more than 10 percent of the responses.


NSSF Report: Women's most important reasons to own a gun.

To further substantiate the claim that women primarily purchase firearms for defensive use, we can explore the "attitude" data in the report. Exactly 81.6 percent of the women surveyed agreed with the statement, "I feel more secure now that I own a gun." Only 3 percent disagreed. Nearly 71 percent of the women responded in the affirmative to the statement, "I feel a need to own a gun for safety reasons," and exactly half of the women agreed that they "feel more empowered" by gun ownership. As a tangible indicator of a woman's defensive mindset, 42 percent of those surveyed possess a permit or lawful right to carry a concealed firearm and an additional 29.4 percent planned to obtain a permit in the 12 months following the survey.

NSSF Report: How women feel about owning a gun.

There is one trend, other than self-defense, that is emergent in the data: a desire to be self-reliant. Perhaps due to natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina or a nationwide movement toward survival preparedness, women are giving more thought to being able to function in an austere environment. Nearly 74 percent of women agreed with the statement that it is "necessary to know how to use a gun for survival" and 4.5 percent of women cited a desire to be self-sufficient as their primary motivator for purchasing a gun. This information may not be groundbreaking news to some, but it is interesting and suggests that women are not immune to societal trends in this area.


Most women gun owners stated they felt more secure and empowered because they owned a firearm.

Women today are buying guns for everything from collecting to competition shooting, but the primary factor influencing women to purchase a firearm is clearly their personal safety and that of their loved ones. This is perhaps the least-surprising conclusion that we've seen from the data and one area where the stereotype meets reality.

When we examine the NSSF's report in its entirety, the data tells us that women are buying guns for self-defense, buying the right hardware for that purpose, and that they are seeking professional training to use them safely and effectively. As gun owners, we should all be supportive and encouraging this movement forward and avoid reinforcing age-old social stereotypes.


Current Magazine Cover

Enjoy articles like this?

Subscribe to the magazine.

Get access to everything Guns & Ammo has to offer.
Subscribe to the Magazine

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Trijicon RMRcc Reflex Sight – Perfect for Optics-Ready Concealed-Carry Pistols

Trijicon RMRcc Reflex Sight – Perfect for Optics-Ready Concealed-Carry Pistols

The people asked and Trijicon answered. Introducing the RMRcc miniature red-dot sight for compact, concealed-carry pistols. Trijicon's new RMRcc features the durability and reliable controls that have made the RMR so successful, but its reduced dimensions make the “Concealed Carry” model better suited for the popular small-frame pistols designed for discreet carry and personal defense.

First Look: Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint Bolt-Action Rifle

First Look: Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint Bolt-Action Rifle

At the heart of the rifle is the Model 2020 action which wish designed and built with very tight tolerances thanks to Springfield's technology-driven manufacturing capabilities The stainless steel action features an integral recoil lug, and pairs with a fluted bolt employing dual cocking cams and an enhanced extractor for high pressure loads. The blueprinted and precisely machined action allows Springfield to offer the Model 2020 with .75" MOA accuracy guarantee. Despite being a production rifle, the Model 2020 should rival more expensive custom builds.

Surefire XSC Micro-Compact Pistol Light: First Look

Surefire XSC Micro-Compact Pistol Light: First Look

Small, lightweight and purpose-built for sub-compact carry guns, Surefire's XSC pistol light takes on EDC illumination segment.

Guns & Ammo TV: Cameras Don

Guns & Ammo TV: Cameras Don't Lie: 9mm vs .45 ACP

The age-old question, 9mm vs .45 ACP. For some, this has been asked and answered already. For others, the debate goes on. In this segment of “Cameras Don't Lie,” competitive shooters Patrick Sweeney and Jim Tarr head to the range to put the vaunted loads on record, and then consider the footage.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

9 Commonly Misused Gun Terms How-To

9 Commonly Misused Gun Terms

Kyle Wintersteen

"Assault weapon." Sixteen-round "clip." A box of "bullets." When it comes to guns and gun...

Don't underestimate the fun factor.Review: Remington V3 TAC-13 Shotguns

Review: Remington V3 TAC-13

Brad Fitzpatrick - March 08, 2019

Don't underestimate the fun factor.

Small, lightweight and purpose-built for sub-compact carry guns, Surefire's XSC pistol light takes on EDC illumination segment.Surefire XSC Micro-Compact Pistol Light: First Look Tactical

Surefire XSC Micro-Compact Pistol Light: First Look

Jeremy Stafford - September 10, 2020

Small, lightweight and purpose-built for sub-compact carry guns, Surefire's XSC pistol light...

The Pulsar Thermion XG50 Thermal Riflescope is the first-ever riflescope to combine a BAE sensor, onboard recording, automatic & manual calibration options, multiple color palettes, and manual focus.Pulsar Thermion XG50 Thermal Riflescope - First Look Optics

Pulsar Thermion XG50 Thermal Riflescope - First Look

Guns & Ammo Staff - September 02, 2020

The Pulsar Thermion XG50 Thermal Riflescope is the first-ever riflescope to combine a BAE...

See More Trending Articles

More Industry

We all have mentors in life, but for many of us the most influential among them are our dads. As Father's Day approached, I found myself reflecting on my own.Father's Day Thoughts Industry

Father's Day Thoughts

Keith Wood - August 20, 2020

We all have mentors in life, but for many of us the most influential among them are our dads....

On October 30, 2020, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) announced that the 2021 SHOT Show, intended to be held January 19-21, 2021, was cancelled. CANCELLED: 2021 SHOT Show in Las Vegas Industry

CANCELLED: 2021 SHOT Show in Las Vegas

Guns & Ammo Staff - November 02, 2020

On October 30, 2020, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) announced that the 2021...

From the National Shooting Sports Foundation.NSSF Q&A: Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.)

NSSF Q&A: Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.)

National Shooting Sports Foundation - July 23, 2020

From the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Taurus announced Shooting Team Captain Jessie Harrison captured a big win at the recent USPSA Area 3 Championship held August 2 in Grand Island, Nebraska.Taurus Shooting Team Captain Jessie Harrison Wins at USPSA Industry

Taurus Shooting Team Captain Jessie Harrison Wins at USPSA

Guns & Ammo Staff - August 07, 2020

Taurus announced Shooting Team Captain Jessie Harrison captured a big win at the recent USPSA...

See More Industry

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Guns & Ammo App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now