Since 2019, half of all new firearm owners in the U.S. identify as female, according to recent research. We’ll never know what the numbers are for female gun ownership in N.J, as Dino Flammia explained in his article on people for various reasons are not honest about gun ownership in the state.

But it’s a good bet that more New Jersey women own guns than ever before.

According to the Washington Post, there's a growing population of women who have bought guns over the last two years, a spike that is thought to have occurred because of a growing sense of social and political instability since the beginning of the pandemic.


A 2021 Harvard study found that women accounted for half of all gun purchases between 2019 and 2021 and that new gun owners were more likely to be female. That is unprecedented, experts say.

So it stands to reason that if this is the trend nationwide, there are probably more gun owners in New Jersey that are female than there ever have been before.

What makes the environment here more conducive to being a female gun owner than it may have been in the past?

More women live alone.

Living alone or being single moms in NJ encourages women to take charge of their safety and their kids' and carrying a firearm does make a lot of women feel safer.

And of course, although you hope you never have to use it there is comfort in knowing it is there if you do.

And women take the responsibility of owning a firearm seriously. For instance, they know that having a gun and knowing how to use it are two different things.

They also know that deciding to carry one means taking responsibility for it. To feel at ease with this, many women opt for classes, online or in-person.

Althom GettyImages
Althom GettyImages

These classes, often designed for women, are much more prevalent in the state than ever before and can help them understand their firearms better and become more skilled.

As more women buy guns, target shooting for fun is becoming popular. It's not just about getting better, it's also enjoyable and shows your progress.

The more you practice, the more confident you become with your firearm. There are many options tailored for women, which is why more women are carrying. Trying different grips and types is essential to making an informed choice.

While relying on a partner for safety is nice, it's vital to realize that as a woman in NJ, your safety is mostly in your hands.

Carrying a firearm responsibly can give you independence, especially in certain situations. And isn’t that what women have been squawking about for years?

Places in New Jersey where you can now carry a legal gun

New Jersey passed its own law in December, trying to ban legal guns from “sensitive places.” 

A federal judge found many of those spots to be legally protected on grounds of armed self-defense, noting in her opinion, “Crowded locations are not sensitive places."

As of June, a federal appeals court granted the state attorney general's request to keep part of the law that bars people from carrying handguns in “sensitive places” in effect. The decision means handguns cannot be carried in places such as zoos, public parks, public libraries and museums, bars, and health care facilities. The law bars handguns from being carried in those places as well as schools and child care facilities. The lower court's May injunction did not specify those locations, and the appeals court also didn't remove the prohibition in those places.

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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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