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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Gun Ownership Increases Among Seniors, Women, Minorities

This week, two articles, one in the Kansas City Star and one on the Heritage Foundation's Daily Signal Blog continue to show gun ownership among three specific groups are on the increase. First, from the Kansas City Star:
People 65 and older make up one of the most solidly growing demographics for the firearms industry. They’re acquiring guns and getting training — for recreational target practice and a perceived need for self-protection.

The National Rifle Association reports a fourfold jump since 2010 in the number of older Americans taking basic firearms training courses taught by certified NRA instructors. That is greater than the 265 percent increase in all demographics taking firearms training during the same period.

That helped push the overall number of Americans participating in target shooting from 34.4 million in 2009 to 40.8 million in 2012, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

The increase is not only seniors. The number of women of all ages who target shoot has jumped nearly 57 percent since 2006. Target shooters also increasingly are people who live in cities or suburbs.
The Daily Signal has a similar report:
She added that in recent years, an increasingly diverse group of women has sought to learn about guns for the first time. They include single mothers and married women, from 22 to 82, in occupations such as nurses, small-business owners, social workers, accountants, and lawyers. They travel from Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Maine, as well as other parts of Massachusetts.

Roberts also sees a potential political shift.

“Women are voting typically on the Democratic side because over the last two or three generations self-defense and firearms were demonized,” she said. “Women were told they can’t take care of themselves. That’s changing.”
These trends appear to be verified by a new Pew Research survey showing that 44% of American households have at least one firearm.

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