Why Are More Women Buying Firearms?

According to a recent study, “close to half of all new U.S. gun buyers since the beginning of 2019 have been women” the Wall Street Journal’s Zusha Elinson reports. The study, 2021 National Firearms Survey, found that over 3.5 million women were first time gun purchasers between January 2019 and April of this year. What caused this sharp increase in women buying firearms?

During the Trump presidency, the country underwent tumultuous times as both the left and the right became sharply divided on issues.  The left was increasingly violent towards anyone supporting President Trump. This resulted in intense clashes between protesters on both sides. Due to the violent nature of the George Floyd protests over 2020, the survey found that people were more likely to buy firearms for their protection.   As the Journal article noted:  “The fear of getting caught in a riot was so frequently stated by new gun owners at the San Diego chapter of A Girl and A Gun, another shooting club for women, that chapter founder Judi Wells said she recorded a radio show on how to survive such a situation.”

Additional issues influencing the decision to buy a firearm included an increased concern among all purchasers for their safety. In fact, over 70% of new owners surveyed said they purchased a firearm due to increased concerns over crime. This can be attributed to the rise in violent crime accompanying the defund the police movement and progressive sentencing reforms such as zero bail.

Recently the Council on Criminal Justice (CCJ), a criminal justice think tank, was commissioned to obtain data about crime rates during the pandemic.  The survey and additional data from Brigham Young University found an increase in domestic violence situations reported to police ranging from 8.1-9.7% during the pandemic.   This supports the reasoning that more women were buying firearms to protect themselves from domestic violence. 

What this information suggests is that the violence associated with the George Floyd riots and the increase in violent crime, including in domestic violence,  encouraged the surge in gun purchases by woman. 

As the left calls for the further reduction of police departments, it is likely we will continue to see more women becoming new gun owners to protect themselves since they can no longer rely on police to do so.