For the firearms industry, women are the next big opportunity.
They are a desirable demographic and the number of female gun owners is growing, CNN Money
Sometimes the appeal may include a fashion statement.
Glock offers both sub-compact and slim line handguns for women. Smith & Wesson offers a model called the “Lady Smith.” Mossberg markets shotguns and rifles with a pink camouflage pattern, and one shooting range in Las Vegas offers pink AK-47s with the bachelorette parties that it caters to.
"When you are aiming at your target and you're executing a safe shot, you're not thinking about what's for dinner," said Karen Butler, owner of Shoot Like a Girl, a company that introduces women to shooting via sponsorships from gun makers.
"You're not thinking about the problems of the day. You're thinking about what you have to do to hit the target. When you do that, it's just a sense of relaxation, followed by a sense of gratification. I think that every woman should experience that feeling," she told CNN.
Almost 80 percent of gun retailers reported a rise in female customers in 2012, according to industry figures. In Florida, 22 percent of the concealed carry permits are held by women. In Texas, women hold 28 percent of concealed carry permits, up sharply over the past decade.
Women participants are also showing up on television sports competitions. Michelle Viscuzi, a U.S. Army veteran who has also modeled for Maxim, competed on a History Channel show called “Top Shot,” CNN reported. Tiffany Lakosky, a former flight attendant, hunts on the Outdoor Channel show "Crush with Lee & Tiffany.”
"I wear it for protection," said Lakosky of her .380 caliber semiautomatic pistol. "I like it because when I go running on a dirt road I have a belly band and it fits that. I can mow my lawn with it. I can wear it in my purse and no one even knows that I have it."
The American Academy of Pediatrics
reported last month that each day in the U.S., about 20 young people under age 20 require hospitalization from firearms injuries, and 6 percent of them die. The data from the group’s study concluded most of the hospitalizations were from assaults, and relatively few were from suicides.
reported gun makers Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger have announced they are cutting back or eliminating sales of their handguns in California because of a new state law that requires use of micro stamping technology.
reported California is the first state to ban retailers from selling new models of semiautomatic handguns that do not offer the technology, which imprints the weapon’s make, model and serial number on the cartridge when a shot is fired. Critics say the requirement will not deter gun violence and is cost prohibitive.
If the California law survives court tests, Bloomberg said other states are expected to follow its example.
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