Gun Ownership Steadily Increasing Among US Women

Gun Ownership Steadily Increasing Among US Women

FILE – Store owner Bren Brown stands with a display of handguns at Frontier Justice in Lee’s Summit, Mo., Dec. 21, 2108. ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA – In 2020, Americans battled a pandemic, social injustice and a contested election — conflicts that led many people to become gun owners. And, consistent with a slow trend over the past decade, more of those gun owners are women. Beth Privette, who helps run the Women Arm Yourselves Safety program in Brevard, North Carolina, said she added two classes to her calendar in 2020 "because there was such a need for it." "In the last year and a half, we’ve seen quite an uptick," she told VOA. Preliminary data from Harvard’s School of Public Health suggest that women accounted for about half of all gun purchases between 2019 and 2021, and that new gun owners are more likely to be female. Kylie Tyler, a gun owner in Washington state who grew up hunting with her father, said she noticed that some of the people who had initially been shocked to learn she owned a gun expressed interest in purchasing one last year. "In the Northwest, there has been a lot of civil unrest, and that specifically has caused a lot of people that I’ve talked to to rethink that initial evaluation," Tyler said. But last year’s spike in background checks for gun purchases, which researchers say was to be expected during an election year fraught with civil unrest, is one of many bumps […]

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