Now is an ideal time for women to become gun owners. The firearms industry has changed in recent years due to greater numbers of women realizing that the market has adapted to suit their needs. Ladies who wish to master the art of shooting should be aware of the unique advantages now available to them.
- It’s now easy to find shooting lessons geared towards women.One example is the Women’s Firearm Academy in Montana, which opened in 2012. The organization “sees being a woman in a predominantly male profession as an asset” and creates a “positive, encouraging and safe” environment for learners. Another organization, She Can Shoot™ offers gun training for women across state lines and has a large group based in Fairfax, Va. Unlike in former years, it’s simple to find shooting and gun-safety lessons for women almost anywhere. Despite geographical differences and variations in teaching styles, all courses teach women to harness their unique physique and femininity as strengths when using a weapon. For women who prefer the insights of female instructors, there are plenty of female teachers available. Women unfamiliar with guns don’t have to worry about facing sneers or getting grunted at by swaggering male experts—although, to be fair, there are many knowledgeable, gun-wielding gentlemen who are keen to teach beginners and treat women with respect. American Rifleman Magazine also conducted the Ladies Pistol Project and the Ladies Pistol Project II with a review of concealed-carry firearms across the industry.
- The firearm industry has adapted to make guns more accessible to women.Glock, Walther, Sturm Ruger, and Colt have adopted new product designs to suit the growing female market. The weapons of choice for today’s women are no longer small or “lightweight” versions of heavier guns, narrow to grip and full of recoil. Many women prefer 9-mm calibers; Colt, known for its .45-caliber handguns, now offers a wider variety of 9 mm choices perfectly suitable for women customers. There is also a wealth of information available to women to assist them in choosing their perfect weapon. The Well-Armed Woman, founded in 2012, has 400 chapters across the United States along with a user-friendly website devoted to training women to take charge of finding the right products and information about shooting, gun safety and firearms.
- Shopping for the right firearm couldn’t be simpler for ladies of today—there are now specialized stores tailored for women to pick and choose the right weapons. Gone are the times when women interested in guns were compelled to walk into musty, armory-like sporting goods stores or dingy dealer shops as bewildered or patronizing male gun pros looked on. Nowadays, women can buy guns from specialized boutiques. A perfect example is Frontier Justice, based in Kansas City, Kan., which has been so popular with female customers that it opened a second store in 2017. The store—which sells firearms, gear, clothing and optics—offers a luxurious, boutique-style atmosphere to make gun shopping a personalized and inviting experience for women. For women who like weapons and shooting, shopping has never been more fun.
- Specialized shooting gear now exists that is tailored just for women. Forget about grappling with clunky holsters or trying to strap on a heavy, ugly-looking belt—if you’re a gun-toting girl, why not carry your concealed piece in a corset or a thigh holster? That might sound antiquated, but these products are far from frivolous—the innovative company Dene Adams, founded in 2013, has a wide selection of convenient concealed holsters well-suited to the modern gun-carrying woman. Yoga pants with a built-in waistband holster, compression shorts with a hidden thigh holster, and comfortable bra holsters all offer ideal options for toting weapons for protection. Dene Adams products also offer women a chance to step up their gun-wielding skills—ladies who wear specialized holsters must practice their draw from many different angles. The appeal and efficiency of the company’s gear is backed by a solid track record—sales, peaking at $250,000 in 2014, jumped to $1 million by 2018. Specialized purses also have come into existence, allowing women the option of not having to wear a hidden holster. The company Gun Tote’n Mamas specializes in making stylish purses designed to carry concealed handguns. The purses—tried and tested—allow women to draw a firearm within two seconds. Now women can carry their guns, amid the bustle of everyday life, wearing the fashionable purses with any outfit they like.
- Women who choose to carry guns will find a large support network of like-minded shooting sisters.Women of all ages and walks of life who enjoy shooting and promoting responsible gun ownership meet in groups all across the nation to share their knowledge and socialize. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, retailers estimate that women formed 23 percent of the retail firearms market in 2016—up seven points since 2010. The Crime Prevention Research Center reports that the number of concealed-carry permits increased nationally since 2017, with the biggest increases among women and minorities. According to Reuters, more and more gun and ammunition manufacturers are now sponsoring competitive women shooters.
With a rise in the amount of specialty shops, female-oriented gear and support groups, women have become the fastest growing group of gun owners in the United States. Sensible ladies seeking to expand their potential and unleash their inner strength should take advantage of the trend and pull the trigger.