Society

Report: Women Buying More Guns Than Ever

| by Ray Brown

National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NCIS) numbers indicate that 2016 is on pace to have the highest number of background checks for guns on record.

Up until the end of October, NCIS conducted 22,206,203 firearm background checks, which is less than 1 million away from the record year of 2015, which ran 23,141,970 firearm background checks. With two more months left to report, 2016 will likely surpass 2015 when the November numbers come through.

NCIS doesn't release statistics based on gender but a St. Louis gun shop owner said he's seeing more women coming in to buy guns.

“If I could open a new store it would cater to women and self-defense and it has been growing the past five years,” Steve King, owner of Metro Shooting Supply, told KTVI.

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"The more single household families we have where women are the head of the household, you have them realizing that not only are they only the provider financially and emotionally for children, but also the physical provider as well,” he added.

Although it's still unclear if women are the “key group” responsible for more gun sales, it's clear that 2016 has been a boom year for gun sellers.

In August, Smith & Wesson's quarterly sales rose 40 percent, according to CNN. And Ruger's quarterly sales were 19 percent higher.

One reason for the increase in gun sales might be former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

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During her failed bid for the presidency, Clinton spoke in favor of tighter gun control, including a ban on assault weapons. And people fearful of losing their guns or being restricted from buying them might have stocked up.

Just before the election, New Orleans gun shop owner Linda Clifton told Al Jazeera that Clinton's run was good for business.

"I'm sure Clinton will try to do something,” Clifton said days before the election when she led many polls. “But the more she runs off with her mouth, the more people are gonna purchase guns.”

Democrats, who tend to be pro-gun control, ironically inspire more gun purchases, said Alabama gun shop owner Tracy Schmitt.

"Barack Obama has been a great firearms salesman," Schmitt said. "But Bill Clinton was the number-one salesman before." 

Sources: KTVI, CNN, Al Jazeera, NCIS/ Photo Credit: Steve Baker/Flickr

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