The Well Armed Woman Blog

Women & Guns: 2019 Survey Data Tells a Story

The results are in! The Well Armed Woman Annual 2019 Survey data is in, and boy does it tell an exciting story! More than five thousand of you submitted entries, thank you! The information you have provided not only helps me to meet your needs at The Well Armed Woman, but it also gives me reliable data to use as I work with leaders in the firearms industry to better understand their female consumers. Trust me; they need to truly understand who you are, what you want, and how to communicate and connect with you.

The survey was distributed nationally to women everywhere; the majority, 65%, were submitted by women not associated with my non-profit TWAW Shooting Chapters.

We also received hundreds of entries from men, although I pulled that to collect this data on women, thank you too. You have provided valuable information to help us better understand you!

The Women & Guns: 2019 Survey… Who are these women?

Let’s start with who the female gun owner is. The respondents ranged in age from 18 to 80+. A whopping 90.86% of the women were 35 years or older. The majority of respondents were 56-65 years old, 32.84%. The second-largest age group represented was women 46-55 years old at 27.73%.

These numbers are telling, and although many in the industry are beginning to understand the power and influence of the mature, American female gun owner, this should create a few “light bulb” moments for industry leaders.

The majority are married or in a domestic partnership with a combined annual income of $100,000 or more.

Although not the majority, single women (single, widowed, or divorced) represented almost 30%; a substantial number and an important demographic for the industry to speak to.

Let’s be frank; the mature women (married or single) is where the action is. These are the women flooding ranges and gun stores, AND they have the discretionary income to support their new hobby. Those of you that work in the industry are well-advised to welcome these mature and eager customers with open arms.

Even with the fact that 40% of respondents did not purchase a handgun in 2019, the 60% that did, (purchasing 1, 2 or more) bought a ton of pistols. In fact, the average was 4 handguns each!

Just this sampling of women, only 5000 of the estimated 30 million women in America that own guns, spent 3.5 million dollars. You can do the math – the female market offers enormous potential and dollars to the firearms industry.

We Know Who These Women Are… What did they do in 2019?

Which guns did they purchase, you ask? I break them down in my 2019 Top Handguns article. In terms of long guns bought and owned by women in 2019, the top-selling type of long gun purchased was a rifle with AR’s coming in second and shotguns third. I find this fascinating. If you had asked me before this survey, I would have thought AR’s or shotguns would have been the top-selling long gun with women. The numbers were relatively close; however, with 44.5% of those that purchased a long gun in 2019 bought a rifle, and 38.5% an AR, and 37% a shotgun. What brands did these women buy? Top ranking long gun brands were Ruger, Mossberg, Remington and Smith & Wesson. You can tell by the numbers that many purchased more than one. It just shows you how important data is.

How much did they spend? They spent just under 2 million dollars. Again, do the math with the total number of female gun owners in this country. Over 3000 women responded that they own long guns. Combined, they own almost 30,000 of them.

Women & Guns: 2019… Do They Carry Concealed?

Now let’s talk about concealed carry. Sixty one percent (61%) of respondents carry regularly. I interpret this to indicate that, likely, many of the other 29% of respondents are newer to gun ownership and haven’t yet developed the confidence to conceal carry daily.

Understanding this is why I developed my Women & Guns: The Basics online course. To help the newer female gun owner successfully enter gun ownership with confidence. 

concealed carry percentage

In 2019, these respondents spent just over 2 million on holsters and gear, an impressive number, and encouragement to those in the industry developing holsters and gear for women.

Holster Options Image

What Did This Survey Teach Us?

In summary, women are making a difference in the world of firearms. Both in the industry and our culture. Obviously, I am biased. As an advocate for women gun owners, I am working hard to influence the industry on their behalf. Having hard numbers and data to support the very real impact women have that shows who they are, makes a convincing case. I believe there is no denying that women are here to stay and, therefore, need the industry to continue to understand who they are and what they want.

14 thoughts on “Women & Guns: 2019 Survey Data Tells a Story

  1. JDM says:

    I do wonder what role finances have in younger women not carrying, (the fact that young girls tend to be more liberal, about 2A and in general, is, no doubt, a factor, but still,) but the <35 crowd ARE at risk of violence, especially when they're most likely to live alone, maybe a good distance from family, and may not have other social connections if they're new to the area. I get pointing out how much older women are willing/able to spend, and I'm 36 so technically I fall into that bucket, but… Maybe the industry can focus on how to make exercising one's 2A rights more affordable to younger women with limited budgets

  2. Pat says:

    I love the belly band and the fanny pack to carry both of which I got from the Well Armed Woman ! I’m a larger woman and I’m seventy years old! I do use a Magnatized holster for in the waistband carry!

  3. Sandy says:

    I have been trying to find something, someway to carry comfortably. New to it and I find the holsters do not sit well, especially on curvy women. Thought of a purse but thought it would be difficult to get it out in an emergency as well as what happens if they steal it?

    1. Carrie Lightfoot says:

      Hi Sandy,
      Have you tried the Concealment Undershort holsters? Here is the product link Concealment Compression Undershorts Product
      If you choose to go with a purse there is a lot of training to get the proper draw and to be able to use it in time of need. Here is a great article discussion using a concealed carry purse. The Concealed Carry Purse Article

    2. Kathy Craig says:

      I have many holsters, depending on what I am wearing and which firearm. The most comfortable is N82 Hers Micro Compact and Sub Compact IWB for my Sigs P365 and P238. I also have the Professional from there which is a retention holster. I have 2 comfortable belly bands, one from ComfortTac – Ultimate Belly Band Holster and the other from TWAW – the Comfort Carry Belly Band. You wear on your hip or up on your waist , wherever is most comfortable and concealed. Really, you may have to go through a few holsters before you find what works for you. I’ve also traded in a couple guns for the same reason. I now have 4 firearms that I love.

  4. Valarie Fischer says:

    This information is very interesting. I didn’t realize that many women carried handguns. Thank you for all you do for the female population.

  5. Constance says:

    Wow! So amazing to see the real numbers on women taking responsibility for their own safety. One concern I have is that for women, especially our curvy types, it is not always easy to conceal and carrying a purse is just a hassle to deal with. I would really like to see the industry create more carry options for all sizes.
    But thank you for doing this survey and for the online classes too!

    1. Robert says:

      It isn’t easy for curvy type men. Responding for a friend.

  6. Connie says:

    I use a purse as I can’t find a comfortable way to carry on me.

  7. Nannette Ramsey says:

    Thank you for this survey.
    Most of us women have purses made for carry. And I’m thinking of the many more that didn’t contribute to your survey.

    1. Deborah Langley says:

      What are the carry preferences of women? This raises a fascinating question that the industry might find interesting. I prefer to carry on my body. What percentage of women choose purses vs those who holsters? Why? How does training/education impact this decision? To what extent does fashion factor into it?

      1. Carrie Lightfoot says:

        Good morning Deborah,
        We will publish those findings soon 😉

        1. Tammy Parks says:

          Id like to know where and how (type of holster or belly band, etc) on the body other women find comfortable to carry.

  8. Brenda says:

    Body armor made for a woman’s body would probably sell very well.

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