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The Impact of Women on the Firearms Industry


If your business is even remotely tied to firearms, you already know that women make up one of the fastest growing segments, if not THE fastest-growing segment, of new gun owners in the U.S. Women and guns – it’s not just a headline, it’s a real phenomenon. What is the impact on your business?

Consider the following:  

  • Women comprise 51% of the U.S. population.
  • Women drive roughly 75% of all consumer spending both directly and indirectly.
  • It is estimated that 24% of women are currently participating in shooting activities.
  • Between 2008 and 2012 the number of women participating in all shooting activities including hunting grew from 6.5 million to 9 million, an increase of 37%.
  • A study of firearms retailers conducted in 2014 by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) reported that 74% of retailers observed a year over year increase in female customers as did the majority of retailers in two prior studies.


Based on this, it is easy to surmise that the increase in women gun owners will have a major impact on the firearms industry and any business lines associated with it.


The impact of women is not lost on the firearms industry, but because the surge of women as gun owners is a relatively recent trend, there is a dearth of quality information. The NSSF, the trade organization serving the firearms industry, answered the call for more information by commissioning a study, Women Gun Owners: Purchasing, Perceptions and Participation, published in 2014 and released to the membership in January, 2015.  This comprehensive study provides information on myriad behavioral and social topics including gun ownership, annual spend, participation in shooting sports, training, gun selection criteria, and anticipated future purchasing and participation. The study answered key questions including:


The study took approximately 12 months to complete and involved consultation with notable women in the firearms industry, one-on-one informal video interviews conducted at shooting events, two focus groups conducted at SHOT Show 2014 and a quantitative questionnaire fielded to 1000 women across the U.S.


In a series of blog posts over the coming weeks, I will explain who participated in the study and review some of the key topics covered in the report along with implications, including:


The research was conducted and report written by Laura Kippen, Ph.D., President and Founder of InfoManiacs, Inc.

Related Articles:

Strong Growth in Female Hunting and Shooting Numbers

Women Impacting Shooting and Hunting Industry

Female Hunter Numbers Growing Fast