The image of the American firearm owner is shifting, a definitive survey shows. Urban American women explain the change: Women are the prey
She only owns a handgun. Shes more likely than male gun owners to live in an urban area, and less likely to have grown up in a gun-friendly household.
And regardless of how many and what types of guns she owns, shes more likely to report owning firearms for protection than men.
This is the portrait of the American female gun owner, as depicted by the most definitive survey of US gun ownership in two decades. While gun ownership has long been dominated by men in the US, the survey finds that the percentage of women who choose to pack heat is increasing.
Of those who own handguns only, 43% are women and nearly a quarter of those women live in urban areas, according to new research from Northeastern University and the Harvard School of Public Health.
At a recent meeting of the Well Armed Womans Central Maryland chapter, members of the women-only gun club were emphatic that they own guns for self-protection. These women hailed from the suburbs and city in the Baltimore area and if they did not already own a handgun, they were in the market for one.
Women are the prey and women are generally weaker and there has to be a way to equalize the battlefield, said Carrie Lightfoot, who founded the Well Armed Woman business in 2012 to create a resource for women to learn more about guns.
In January 2013, she created a not-for-profit branch for womens gun club chapters, which has grown to 280 groups in 49 states.
I really think women are driving the growth [in gun ownership] because its now accessible to them in ways it has never been before, Lightfoot said.