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Gun ownership among women has skyrocketed over the last few years, and in 2023, women from coast to coast used their firearms to thwart attacks or crimes.
Fox News Digital reported on legally armed Americans throughout the year who have defended themselves, their family and even strangers, and looked back at some of the women this year who used their firearms in self-defense.
An Alabama mom, for example, shot and killed a man who was acting “out of his mind,” and allegedly trying to set a house on fire with the mom, her 8-year-old daughter and 80-year-old uncle still inside the residence back in April.
Michelle Jones, who lived at the residence with her daughter, told police that she arrived home on a Saturday evening in April and found the suspect acting belligerently. She also discovered the exterior of the home was on fire. The suspect was a friend of the family and reportedly tried to pour acetone on Jones and light her on fire before she grabbed her firearm and fired a shot at the man.
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Women have become the fastest growing demographic for gun ownership in recent years. (NRA )
“Not just the case of self-defense for her, but deadly force is justified under certain circumstances where you’re defending others as well. And that’s what she was doing. She was defending not only herself, but her daughter and her … uncle was still inside the house. He was hell-bent on setting the house on fire is what she was thinking,” the sheriff’s office said at the time.
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In another case this year, a woman in Texas grabbed a pistol from her car’s console and fired a shot at her ex-boyfriend, who allegedly tried to shave her head with a pair of electric clippers on Aug. 8, according to police. The suspect’s injuries were considered non-life threatening.
Gun ownership among women has skyrocketed over the last few years. ( MIGUEL SCHINCARIOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Another woman in Texas, in May, shot her suspected stalker who allegedly kicked in her front door after she recently moved to a new residence. The suspect in that case was found fatally shot with a wound to his chest.
Gun sales across the board exploded in 2020, with an estimated 23 million firearms sold and more than 21 million background checks conducted. The numbers smashed records and notably spiked at the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 before jumping yet again in June of that year as protests and riots spread across the nation in response to the death of George Floyd.
By gender, gun ownership especially boomed among women. Between 2019 and 2021, as gun purchases exploded, about half of firearm customers were women, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Women were the most likely new gun-owner demographic during those years, researchers found.
Fox News Digital previously spoke with a female gun instructor, Robin Evans, who has trained nearly 5,000 women on gun safety. Evans explained in an interview this month that many women are refusing to become victims and are turning to firearms to better ensure that mission.
Robin Evans, founder of Chicks with Triggers, has trained more than 4,500 women on gun safety. (NRA)
“I feel like every single day, there’s another woman who thought she would never pick up a gun… and they understand what type of world we live in right now.” Evans, the founder and owner of self-defense training company called Chicks with Triggers, told Fox News Digital earlier this month. “And, unfortunately, it gets more dangerous every single day. And so I think more women are starting to really come around to the fact that, ‘Hey, I never thought I would be here, but this is where the world is, so I gotta get prepared.’”
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Evans said roughly 60% of her clientele have encountered dangerous and violent situations themselves, including domestic abuse, rape or kidnapping. Stories reported by Fox News Digital this year show many of the women who used their firearms to thwart violence did so against someone they knew, including ex-boyfriends.
A Florida woman, for example, turned the tables on her armed ex-boyfriend who showed up to her home on Easter Sunday and shot him dead with her own gun. Investigators at the time said the ex-boyfriend had “a prior domestic relationship” with the unidentified woman living in the home, and he traveled to the duplex armed with a gun to “confront” the woman.
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In another incident, a mom in Indiana grabbed her gun when she saw her daughter’s ex-boyfriend drive onto her front yard and hold her husband at gunpoint back in August. The woman shot the suspect, and he was pronounced dead after he was taken to a hospital, according to authorities at the time.
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AR-15 style rifles are displayed for sale at a gun store. (REUTERS/Bing Guan/File Photo)
A woman in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, shot and wounded the father of her child on Aug. 11 after he assaulted her. The man was shot in the shoulder and had an outstanding warrant for violating a protection-from-abuse order to stay away from the woman. He admitted to authorities that he had assaulted his child’s mother before she shot him, the Pottstown Mercury reported.
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Other armed women used their firearms to help defend total strangers, including in North Carolina last month. Two men reportedly got into a verbal altercation in Shelby, escalating to one of the men allegedly shooting the other in the face. The unnamed female bystander then stepped in to defend the injured man, police said, shooting and injuring the man with her handgun.
Earlier this year, Fox News Digital also spoke to the owner and founder of New Mexico-based gun shop Indigenous Arms 1680 Ltd. Co., one of the few Native American-owned gun stores in the U.S., who explained seeing an increase in Native women arming themselves in the face of crime.
A gun safety class held in New Mexico. (USCCA)
“Almost every week we have a Native woman or someone close to family saying I’m really interested in taking this class and picking up a firearm because you see the numbers with the missing and murdered indigenous women and people,” gun shop owner Joe Talachy told Fox News Digital back in September.
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A third of all first-time gun purchasers in 2021 were women, according to data from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSFF). Between 2005 and 2020, the organization estimated that female gun ownership increased by 77%. Women of color have notably seen an increase in firearm ownership, with nearly 87% of gun stores in the first six months of 2021 reporting Black women were increasingly buying firearms, the NSFF found.
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“People are refusing to be victims. Women are refusing to be victims anymore. The gun is a great equalizer, right? You talk about gun ownership, it doesn’t matter how big or small or whatever you may be, the gun at least evens out the fight,” Talachy added at the time.