Gun Sales Steadily Increase, Thanks to Women

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“A woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but mus t be taught to protect herself.” -- Susan B. Anthony

What about guns? Would Susan B. Anthony want women armed? Studies show female gun ownership is increasingly popular.

“With a firearm in her hand, a woman can equally defend herself as a man can," Angela Ford told FOX40.

Ford, a retired Placer County deputy sheriff, now teaches a class called "Girls, Giggles & Guns."

“It’s a Ladies Firearms Familiarization Class, and it’s designed pretty much for women with little or no experience, and the goal is to educate them on firearms laws, safety and to empower them to be safe around firearms,” she said.

Ford's class is so popular, it has a six-month waiting list.

Americans will buy more guns this year than ever before, in part, because of women.

“Customary gun store or range, probably 95-98 percent of the customers were always men. That has changed dramatically in the last 10 years," The Range gun store owner Jerod Johnson said. "The last five years it’s double over what it did 10 years ago, and it’s continuing to double at a rapid rate.”

The Range manager Torie Quinterno agrees.

"It's not like, 'Joe and his pickup truck' anymore. It's more diversified than that," Quinterno said.

The owner of Just Guns has also seen a sharp increase.

"I would say, in the beginning when we first opened eight years ago, it would probably around 15 percent. Now, in today's day, we're looking at 30 to 35 percent female shooters," Josh Deaser said.

Ford says the relatively few women who did shoot more than a decade ago opted more for rifles or shotguns, but not so much handguns -- until now.

"Now, with the way that our country’s changing, we have a lot of women living by themselves, they want to learn to protect themselves," Ford said.

But what about Ford's students? What brought them to this class?

“I took the class because I have a huge respect for guns, but I didn’t understand them, and I think it was fear of the unknown,” student Julie Cannon said.

“When you walk in, especially as a woman walking into a gun range, it’s intimidating. And so, to be able to come in with other women, and to be here in the class, there’s an instant comfort level,” student Joy Porter said.

“We live in a day and age where women are empowered, and they’re more independent, and with that comes a need to defend ourselves," Cannon added.

For most women, that’s what it’s all about. In a recent Pew Research survey, women were more than 50 percent more likely than men to say their main reason for owning a gun was personal protection.

Since her first class, Ford has taught more than 3,000 women how to shoot.

Another recent survey of women gun owners indicates that a third of them purchased their first gun since 2010, and the women that make up the larges group of new gun owners are between 18 and 34 years old.

For more information about Angela Ford's class, click here or call (530) 263-5372.

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