Women making their mark on firearms industry

Most of us that follow the firearms community are aware that women gun owners and shooters are the largest and fastest growing demographic in the sport.  Actual numbers are quite staggering when you really break them down at just how fast women are getting into the sport.

For the six year period from 2005-2011 women firearm owners rose 77%, making women gun owners nearly 25% of the firearm owning population.  Even going to my local range I often find a few women shooters on the line out for target practice. I have also found that I am teaching more of the women I know about shooting and firearms in general.

Now it seems that the general media is beginning to take notice.  In an article last week the Tucson Sentinel covered this very topic.  Part of a larger project on firearms called “Gun Wars” where they are looking at firearms related issues. This article takes a look at how women are making their mark on the industry.  Below is an excerpt from the article.  If you want to read the complete article, you can find the link here:


More women than ever before own guns.

Nearly 79 percent of firearms retailers reported an increase in female customers between 2011 and 2012, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. From this surge in popularity comes classes, specialized apparel, custom firearms, shooting-group memberships and conferences for women.

Women have also become the sellers, the lobbyists and the business owners.

Entrepreneur Carrie Lightfoot founded The Well Armed Woman in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 2012 to be a resource for women shooters, by selling female-friendly merchandise, establishing educational chapters and hosting certified firearms instructor training sessions. In just two years, Lightfoot said it’s become one of the largest female gun groups in the U.S., boasting 350 chapter leaders in 43 states.

Cover Photo Credit Natalie Krebs/News21


  • USMC03Vet

    Don’t think anybody is going to complain about the attractive smiles at the ranges.


    • Dan

      I am, those pretty smiles make my groups open up, and I cannot go to the range without my girlfriend now because there are “pretty girls” there.

      • Tiger

        Haha! 😀

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Life sure is tough.

      • USMC03Vet

        My condolences, Bro.

        Maybe ask her for the pants back?

        • Dan

          I tried she slapped me and told me to get back in the kitchen.

    • Tracksuit

      Oh, bro. Bro. No. Bro, no. They’ll send you running, screaming, bro. Bunch of pigdogs, bro, up on their hind legs. Smiling only makes it worse. Bro. Run, bro.

      • USMC03Vet

        I’m scared now..

  • Don Ward

    Good. Now can we stop the condescending marketing practice of selling pink guns and gear to women? I’m speaking as a guy whose soon-to-be wife gets annoyed at all the pink paraphernalia and who wants decent stuff that isn’t “cute tee-hee”.

    • Annika R

      I agree with your wife. A Grand Power P40L in 10mm Auto appeals to be because the rotating barrel, low bore axis and long slide should all help to make the potent round more manageable and I’m a relatively small-framed woman… a pistol being pink appeals to me less.

      • valorius

        “Girlie girls” like guns too though.

        Ps: you are hot beyond words. 🙂

      • Rusty Shackleford

        I’m waiting to get my hands on the exact same pistol. The longer slide and low bore axis are already good, add to it a rotating barrel and great controlability and hopefully more people become addicted to the 10MM.

      • Don Ward

        For whatever reason, the people who I’ve met that are the biggest fans of the 10mm are women.

    • USMC03Vet

      Say Yes To The Dress AK47 show?

    • valorius

      A lot of chicks like pink.

      My fiancé wants a pink ruger lcp.

    • Cymond

      I find it very condescending to market to women by just making the guns pink, but I’m a dude, what do I know? Someone must be buying them. (Some people have suggested that most pink guns are bought by men as gifts for women, whether the women wanted a pink gun or not.)

      I don’t know what my wife thinks about pink guns from a socialogical perspective, but she does universally hate pink. I suspect that there are many women who dislike pink, but would still appreciate an attractive/stylish/fashionable firearm. I personally think the Lady Smith revolvers are really nice without being patronizing. My wife generally likes purple or scarlet/crimson, while my cousin is fond of earth-tones and often wears olive-drab accessories. So yeah, my point is that gun companies should market towards women, and even develop special models intended for women, but we really need to move past this shallow concept that “it’s all about pink”.


      • RaunchyDawg

        You might want to tell that to companies such as victoria secret who have entire lines devoted to the color pink. Your pleas to the firearm community fall on deaf ears.

        • Cymond

          Does Victoria Secret offer any colors other than pink and black? Maybe there’s something wrong with my eyes, but I see a lot of different colors and patterns on their website, not just pink.

      • RaunchyDawg

        A lot less people would be inclined to jump on the pink trend bandwagon if they stopped letting tv brainwash them also.

      • Don Ward

        That’s a sexy lady.

    • Darren Hruska

      Well, if somebody wants a pink gun, then let them have one. However, I do believe the firearm community, as a whole, would be more appreciated if clichés and stereotypes were less apparent. Some of the ways firearms and firearm accessories (insert Hank Hill’s voice there) are marketed towards certain demographics are quite laughable.

      • Grindstone50k

        Sure, sell pink stuff. But stop slapping the label “for women” on it JUST because it’s pink.

      • Don Ward

        I agree with Grindstone. And yes. If someone wants a pink gun, more power to them. Heck, I don’t even have a problem with getting your weapon kitted out in Hello Kitty (pun…) or My Little Pony gear. But it is kind of shallow that the only color associated with women’s gun gear is pink.

    • Grindstone50k

      My wife hates the pink BS manufacturers market to women, too. She likes the shiny stainless steel look.

    • Smith & Wesson has manufactured the Lady Smith line for many years. Generally speaking they are far more attractive than the cheesy pink guns. They often have brushed stainless combined with fine wood (Cocobolo) grips.

      My current main general use hand gun is a 9mm M & P with 4.25 inch barrel. The ergos are among the best, especially since I can change the palm swell.

      Thanks S & W for guns that work with smaller hands and thanks for sponsoring Julie Golob.

    • Risky

      As my wife says, she likes hers big and black! Guns, of course.

  • CrankyFool

    “women gun owners and shooters are the largest and fastest growing demographic in the sport … For the six year period from 2005-2011 women firearm owners rose 77%, making women gun owner nearly 25% of the firearm owning population.”

    If they’re nearly 25% of the firearm owning population, how exactly are women the largest demographic in the sport?

    As for “largest growing,” I can believe it (or at least, I can certainly believe that more women than men are “getting into” the sport), though:

    1. Doesn’t it depend on how finely you slice your demographic membership? If you were to look at the demographic group “women who are married to me,” then that group would have grown its representation in the firearm owning population by approximately a bajillion percent (going from 0 to 1);

    2. It’d be interesting to also look at ownership stats — Grant for a second that more women are getting into the sport than men, that doesn’t necessarily mean most stuff is being bought by women. In the last few years during the time my wife bought one shotgun (and counted as a new woman in the sport), I bought several shotguns and rifles, and did not count as a new owner at all.

    Also, I like statistics 🙂

    • Dan

      I assume it means the largest growing demographic not largest demographic.

      • Cymond

        But that makes “largest and fastest growing” redundant. Or is there a difference between “largest growing” and “fastest growing”?

        And I’m curious about the stats, too. More women are buying guns (great!) but are they buying more guns? Or just buying one and stopping? Are they beginning to catch-up to the fervor of their male counterparts? Female gun owners are becoming more common (and people have been saying that for years), but are female gun lovers becoming more common at the same rate? My wife owns guns, but she hasn’t gone to the range in years, and she was always finished after a very short time, even back in the old days.

        • Dan

          I agree it us redundant and perhaps it was just poorly worded. It would be interesting to know if they buy multiple guns or just find one and quit. Most of the women I know usually get guns as gifts. I bought my girlfriend a handgun for christmas one year, I think she was expecting a ring but that is boring. Anyway she doesn’t shoot much so the first few times were spent getting her to keep her eyes open. Then not cheering every time she hit the target. This last time she took a liking to an AK of mine which really surprised me Perhaps there is hope for her yet. I do not however expect she will go out and buy her own guns.

          You definitely raise some great questions and I wish we could find the answers.

      • RaunchyDawg

        What it actually means is a reverse psychological game is being played where women and men read this stuff, tell the women they know, and then those women think its a good idea to jump on the bandwagon and get into the sport. Thus increasing revenue.

  • valorius

    How many million women own guns in america?

  • ColaBox

    Now if only I can get my girl to join me at the range sometime…

    • Sulaco

      Ya I have been trying to get my wife interested for 35 years, no go. She does not dislike them and is fully supportive of my ownership and use (ex cop here) but there is absolutely no interest on her part to own or shoot….just live with it other than that she is a dream wife…

  • Lance

    Forget guns just have more pis of Gabby Franco….. She is soooo Cute!

  • kingghidorah

    They need stuff market towards them to gain more main/lame stream acceptance. How about Skinny Girl .380, White House Black Market 9mm, Victoria’s Secret .45? Companies could be cashing in.

  • Grindstone50k

    My wife is a new gun owner, adding a minority female to the stats. I also work with a minority lesbian (not the butch kind, either) who loves spending time at the range. More and more women are rejecting the idea that “guns are bad, mmkay” and realize how much of an equalizer they really are.

  • Blake

    I guess now we know where all the 22LR surplus went, judging by the number of ladies’ guns that are out there in that caliber…

    Hopefully stats like this mean that the ammo companies will be less afraid of the pent-up demand evaporating if they tool up to produce more than the scalpers can shift.