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Women taking aim: NRA Convention sheds light on female gun owners

Republican hopefuls for the 2024 presidential election headlined the National Rifle Association’s annual convention to defend the Second Amendment.
Posted at 7:56 PM, Apr 15, 2023

The saying goes, "God created men; Samuel Colt made them equal."

In 21st-century America, women also figure into that marketing ploy and gun politics.

Former Ambassador and Republican Presidential Candidate Nikki Haley displayed her second amendment credentials to National Rifle Association members. 

"I’m a concealed weapons permit holder myself," said Haley.

As did South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem.

"The media would have us believe that the NRA is only made up of old white guys. But there are a lot of other people," said Noem.

A 2021 Harvard University studyfound that women accounted for half of all gun purchases between 2019 and 2021, and that new gun owners are more likely to be female.

NRA member and gun store owner Bridget Reed-Wynne isn’t surprised by that statistic.

"I think that’s an incredible thing, that ladies and women are taking their protection more serious," said Reed-Wynne. "I always tell my ladies: Be your own superhero; no one’s coming to save you."

Former President Donald J. Trump reacts to the crowd before speaking at the National Rifle Association Convention

Trump, Pence among attendees at NRA convention

Day one of the NRA convention featured former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence.

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But it’s more than just buying a gun; Reed-Wynne says training is critical.

"Don’t just get a gun because someone told you this is what you need. Being trained on how to properly pick a firearm, being trained on how to properly carry and defend yourself," said Reed-Wynne.

Women gun owners Scripps News spoke with say women need to speak out more on gun laws.

"If they stand up for what they believe, maybe the laws will change," said Tabitha Wynn, an NRA member.

Outside the NRA Convention, a somber contrast.

Not a celebration of guns or empowerment, but rather mourning about gun violence. 

"I don’t think it’s about female vs. male, Republican v. Democrat; I think it’s fear. Fear that someone will walk into someone’s office or school and shoot them," said educator Naomi Humphries.

Recent Gallup surveys suggest women overall are more in favor of restrictive gun laws.

For the women on the other side of that debate, the answer is clear. 

"I don’t want your guns. I don’t want your guns. I just want them to be regulated," said Mary Tuttle, who favors more restrictive gun laws. 

Whether their counterparts inside are willing to listen is a different story.