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MD – INDUSTRY INSIDER – Gun trade groups say more women are becoming licensed firearms owners

Some call it firearm feminism. According to gun trade groups, more women are buying guns than ever before. One recent survey indicates self-protection is the main reason, but first-time female gun buyers are also citing fear of civil unrest, election uncertainty and the coronavirus as influencing their decision to buy firearms. Business owner Angela Geotz says she wants to be legally armed if trouble comes her way. “I just want to be able to protect myself if I have to, my family,” Geotz said. Geotz is not alone. Jessica Howard is a first-time gun owner. “There is a lot of crazy stuff going on and I’m a single mother,” Howard said. Firearm sales to women are up 40% from 2019, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The trade group surveyed gun retailers. The survey finds personal protection is the primary reason and semi-automatic pistols are the most popular. First-time gun owner Vickie Hayes bought a semi-automatic pistol after someone broke into her home. “It kind of scared me a little bit, so I thought a good way to protect myself would be to get a handgun license. So, I did and I purchased a gun,” Hayes said. The firearms industry noticed the surge beginning in March with the coronavirus outbreak. Since then, concern over civil unrest is the biggest reason for the surge, that’s according to a poll conducted by national firearms group A Girl & A Gun. (Skip) The same survey finds most of first-time gun buyers are women between the ages of 45 and 54. Followed by the 55 to 64 age group. These are mostly white women proceeded by Hispanic, then Black. Rebecca Sewell, a retired Baltimore County police officer, owns the Girlz with Guns school in Bel Air. Students are taught Maryland handgun laws and legal issues surrounding guns. Lessons include how to transport, stow and maintain handguns. Sewell said her business has quadrupled since last year. “This year’s events have kind of scared people and prompted them to seek good training and get to the range and practice the fundamentals, the good fundamentals that are taught,” Sewell said. The firearm industry is embracing female gun owners by changing the designs of weapons and accessories. Experts say there are no signs interest is fading.  [full article]

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