Fifty years ago, guns were primarily owned and used by men. However, things are rapidly changing. If you are still hanging on to the archaic stereotypes about men and guns, it’s time for a wake up call! According to a survey by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, 48 percent of today’s first time gun buyers are female. The vast majority of first time gun purchases are registered to people in their 20’s living in the suburbs. So why the sudden increased connection between 20-something suburban women and guns?

These young women seem to be mostly interested in acquiring firearms for home-defense and self-sufficiency. Today’s young adults are increasingly interested in living sustainable lifestyles and that has caused a rapid spike in suburban gardening, homeschooling, and even firearm purchases. The average 2014 woman isn’t going to rely on a man for her sole source of protection. Instead, she will take steps to be certain that she can stay safe and protect her family independently.

Based in Newtown Connecticut, the National Shooting Sports Foundations, tracks first-time gun purchases in an effort to learn more about today’s gun buyers. According to the newest annual report, most gun buyers in the past year are not purchasing firearms to simply lock up in a cabinet. In fact, they are actively using their guns at least once a month, making shooting a hobby and learning to be comfortable operating the firearms.

The NSSF also reported that first-time gun owners spend an average of $500 for their first firearm. The most popular weapons are semiautomatic pistols, followed by shotguns and revolvers. This information is really surprising when you imagine the typical 25-year-old female. Just think of the women you pass in an average day at the mall. Statistics indicate that 23% are gun owners.

Owning a gun is empowering to women, especially since predators often target the female gender. Truthfully, even a woman that works out in a gym five times a week is going to face an uphill battle in a hand-to-hand physical altercation with a man. Of course, the scenario can change completely if she is armed with a gun. Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson said that guns are the best option for women that have concerns about safety. “The bottom line is, a gun is without a doubt the best way for a woman to defend herself in a worst-case scenario,” he said.

Kirsten Tynan, a young female gun owner, told The Blaze that carrying a firearm gives her some added security. “Whether I am in a high crime area, car camping alone on a road trip, or hiking solo in bear country, carrying a firearm gives me another tool to ensure my own safety without having to depend on someone else. It opens up more opportunities for me because I don’t feel I have to have a partner by my side for my protection.”

Whether it’s for self-defense or just for added home security, firearms are increasingly common among today’s women. Move over boys… girls like guns too!

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