There are pink guns, pink ear protection, and pink shell pouches. For your car, get a pink “Pistol Packing Princess” sticker. For packing heat at your favorite tea room, a purse with a special pistol holster is de rigueur, says the Des Moines Register. All of this is aimed at women who want to own a gun — for protection, for hunting or for sport shooting — a rapidly growing demographic.
The National Sporting Goods Association shows female participation in target shooting grew by 46.5 percent between 2001 and 2010. An October 2011 Gallup Poll found 23 percent of women own a gun. In Iowa, a law that took effect on Jan. 1, 2011, making weapons permits available to anyone who met criteria and passed a background check has resulted in huge increases in the number of permits granted to both men and women. In Polk County the number of women granted permits has outpaced those granted to men by more than two to one, skyrocketing more than 311 percent between 2010 and 2011. The Register talked with three Iowa female gun enthusiasts about why they shoot.