Originally published in the February 2018 Official Journals of the National Rifle Association
The Second Amendment is for everyone. You have read these words in my columns before. Our Second Amendment-guaranteed civil liberties offer us a choice for protecting ourselves, protecting our families and protecting the communities that make up the unique fabric of our country.
The face of firearm ownership is evolving as quickly as our society. The fastest-growing group of new firearm owners is women. Ladies of all ages and backgrounds are venturing to gun stores to make their first purchase or heading into the field for their first hunt or competition. Data suggest that female participation in all shooting disciplines—hunting, target sports, and particularly in personal and family protection—is at an all-time high and is still climbing.
Programs geared toward women remain an integral part of the NRA’s commitment to serve a rapidly growing and increasingly diverse population of American gun owners.
The firearm and outdoor industry has responded to newfound firearm advocates by introducing guns and accessories that fit better, feel better and function to the needs of these owners. Grassroots developments of women’s-only classes are emerging, social nights at the range are becoming standard offerings, tactical competitions are seeing more and more women on winning podiums and hunting camps are enjoying an influx of new female hunters.
Many great businesses and organizations across our industry are graced with the talent of a stronger more diverse leadership team; giving way to better products, broader services and an increased appeal. This is the way of the future. The next generation of leaders will be from all walks of life. Our next defenders of the Second Amendment will be led by women and men equally.
It’s exciting to watch this develop. Having more diversity in the gun-owning ranks makes for a more resilient Second Amendment. The strong and dedicated voices of women are resounding in the halls of the firearm industry, the nra and across America.
NRA has been led by two female presidents, and Carolyn Meadows currently serves as nra Second Vice President. Carolyn and 13 other female board members are leading the way in the never-ending fight to safeguard our right to keep and bear arms.
NRA history is replete with women who have broken the gender barrier. Our most recent example is your board member, Kim Rhode, who medaled in the shotgun sports over the past six summer Olympics, a feat matched by only one other athlete—male or female—ever.
Programs geared toward women remain an integral part of the NRA’s commitment to serve a rapidly growing and increasingly diverse population of American gun owners. The NRA’s Women on Target instructional clinics are essential to teaching firearm safety and the fundamentals of marksmanship. The Women’s Wilderness Escape offers an all-female week of outdoor adventures. The NRA Women TV Network profiles women currently making a difference in the shooting and hunting communities.
Equally important, more women than ever are earning credentials as nra firearm instructors—more than 10,000 at last count! This is great news for women who prefer to receive their instruction from another woman.
I call on all gun owners—male and female—to reach out to all races, sexes and ages and to persuade them to join the NRA. Everyone’s collective voice is the real voice of freedom!