Nearly 25 million background checks will have been completed by year’s end. FBI figures show the National Instant Criminal Background Check System verifies that this is more checks than ever before. This also means that gun sales are up. So, who is buying all these guns? The key group that is driving sales up is women. In fact, more women than ever, are getting locked and loaded.
Steve King, owner of Metro Shooting Supply says, “If I could open a new store it would cater to women and self-defense and it has been growing the past five years.” King says they have shooting lessons everyday and not only are the classes full, but women make up 80 percent of the class. Self defense is the number one driving force behind the increase of women gun owners.
Self defense has become a priority for women, mothers and grandmothers who feel the need to have means of protection. Anita Farmer, a resident of Red Bud, Illinois, recently armed herself. She said, “It’s relaxing, believe it or not; firing off a few rounds really does calm you when you have had stress. Coming to the range can help.”Gun ownership is not for every female as they need to be comfortable with a gun and also prepared to use it if needed.
Gun opponents say women are not necessarily safer with guns. A Columbia University study says a woman’s chances of being killed by her abuser increases more than five times if he has access to the gun. A Harvard University study says a gun in the home is more likely to be used against a woman, making her three times more likely to be killed with it.
Gun advocates, however, feel confident that the statistics speak volumes. 200,000 women annually use a gun to defend themselves from a sexual attack. Guns are used 2.5 million times a year in self-defense. Law-abiding citizens use guns to defend themselves against criminals as many as 2.5 million times every year — or about 6,850 times a day. This means that each year, firearms are used more than 80 times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to take lives.