Friendly and Certified Firearms Training for Women Since 2011

Trending Data Among Women First-Time Gun Owners

According to the NSSF, approximately 11 million Americans purchased their first firearm in the past 2 years, and it is estimated that half of them were women. A Girl & A Gun Women’s Shooting League (AG & AG) polled new members who were new gun owners to learn more about them. This article provides trending data among this demographic.

AG & AG offered the same survey to new members over the past two years. If a woman indicated she was a new shooter (acquiring a firearm within the past year), she was asked additional follow-up questions. The responses for the new-shooter specific questions totaled 1,176 women responses in 2020 and 1,706 in 2021, providing a good glimpse into general trends of this specific demographic.

Individual vs Household

The questions also tried to determine if a gun was new to just this individual or new to her household. In 2021, there was an increase in AG & AG members who were brand new to firearms — they did not have guns in their households, nor did they shoot as children.

Brand New to Firearms53%60%
Guns were in the home, but I didn’t shoot.29%29%
I shot as a kid/teen, but not as an adult.17%11%

Reasons for Gun Ownership

When asked why these women were spurred to purchase a firearm and get firearms training, the responses were relatively consistent year-to-year.

Riots/fear of mobs and civil unrest16%13%-3%
Elections/legislation/concern of bans12%12%
Just learned about training opportunities10%11%+1%
Urged by family member/friend9%12%+3%
New firearm in household9%9%
Pandemic/uncertainty of access to essentials9%8%-1%
Rising unemployment/fear of crime8%8%
Fear of targeted violence/discrimination7%7%
Ammo shortage/concern of waiting6%6%
Lack of law enforcement resources6%6%
Quarantine boredom/try something fun5%4%-1%
Recent safety/crime experience3%4%+1%
Stimulus check provided opportunity1%1%

When 2021 was reviewed quarterly, some trends became more apparent throughout the year. Not surprising, the concern of riots and the concern of the pandemic consistently trended down as more areas of the country opened up and life tried to resume to “normal” for most Americans.

Reasons for New Gun Ownership in 20211Q2Q3Q4Q
Urged by family member/friend13%9%12%14%
Just learned about training opportunities10%12%11%12%
New firearm in household8%11%9%11%
Riots/fear of mobs and civil unrest14%14%12%11%trending down
Elections/legislation/concern of bans11%12%13%11%
Fear of targeted violence/discrimination7%6%6%9%
Rising unemployment/fear of crime8%9%9%8%
Pandemic/uncertainty of access to essentials9%8%7%6%trending down
Recent safety/crime experience4%4%5%5%
Ammo shortage/concern of waiting6%6%5%5%
Quarantine boredom/try something fun4%3%3%4%
Lack of law enforcement resources5%6%6%4%
Stimulus check provided opportunity1%1%1%0%

Reasons for Joining a Shooting Club

The previous questions asked why the individual was motivated to purchase a firearm, so AG & AG also asked why she chose to join a women’s shooting organization. The answers were consistent year to year:

I attend AG & AG events…20202021
to practice defensive skills48%48%
for the social aspect30%31%
because I like to compete9%9%
Other entries13%13%

These answers are consistent with responses about concealed or open carry permits. Responses indicated that — even though these women had only been shooting for one year or less — more than one-third had already acquired a carry permit or license and about half of them plan to in the near future.

Carry Permit20202021
Not Yet53%46%

Diversity of New Gun Owners in AG & AG

AG & AG also looked at individual demographics of new gun owners to see if the organization was becoming more inclusive and diverse, which has been a high-priority initiative for the past several years.

18-24 years old1%1%
25-34 years old6%7%
35-44 years old16%15%
45-54 years old32%30%
55-64 years old25%30%
65-74 years old16%15%
75 years or older1%2%
Prefer Not to Answer4%4%
Asian/Pacific Islander1%2%
Native American0%0%

Complete Survey Results

Surveys include additional information about shooting sports and new shooters’ purchasing preferences. Results can be downloaded here:

About A Girl & A Gun

A Girl & A Gun (AG & AG) is a membership organization whose events are successful stepping stones for thousands of women entering the shooting community by fostering their love of shooting with caring and qualified instructors who coach them. AG & AG breaks barriers for women and girls in self-defense, and in pistol, rifle, and shotgun shooting sports by welcoming beginners to learn the basics of safe and accurate shooting and providing experienced shooters with advanced-level opportunities. The club has thousands of members in all 50 states and hosts recurring Girl’s Nights Out at hundreds of ranges throughout the United States.

For more information about A Girl And A Gun Women’s Shooting League, or to learn how to join, please visit Follow AG & AG on FacebookInstagramTwitterYouTube, and Pinterest for social media and corporate news.