Understanding Female Gun Ownership: 1973-2010

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Understanding Female Gun Ownership: 1973-2010

Category: Firearm Availability, Women|Journal: Feminist Criminology (full text)|Author: M Koeppel, M Nobles|Year: 2015

This research examines female gun ownership trends from 1973 to 2010. Nationally representative General Social Survey data are used to compare rates for male and female gun ownership. In light of the specific marketing trends by gun manufacturers beginning in the mid-1990s as well as previous findings within the literature, we test (a) whether an increase in female gun ownership is observed from 1973 to 2010, (b) whether female gun owners report increased fear of crime, and (c) the extent to which other gun-owning motivations, especially hunting, shape women’s gun ownership. Our analysis confirms a decline in women’s gun ownership, but in contrast to previous studies emphasizing a link between fear of crime and female gun ownership, we find that hobbies and lifestyle factors may better explain women’s interests in firearms. We could conclude by highlighting avenues for new research that better take into account the heterogeneity of gun ownership in the United States.

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