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It’s common knowledge that women make up a large and growing segment of the shooting world. Those numbers have risen sharply in the past few years, causing changes of thought in the gun industry and in the national mood toward gun rights. But why, exactly, are women drawn to guns?

In this article on Natalie Foster offers some insight to how women are commonly exposed to firearms and what keeps them coming back to the range.

“There’s a path that a typical new female shooter walks. If a women hasn’t been lucky enough to learn to shoot a .22 single shot rifle at camp, like I did, or to have a family member who taught her to shoot at an early age, we can often thank those who did have such experiences for bringing this new class of ladies into the fold,” she writes.

“These women come from different backgrounds and have various reasons for going to the range or purchasing a gun. They are soccer moms, college students, widowed senior citizens, daughters who desire to connect with their fathers, community activists, doctors, lawyers, and so much more. No matter how disparate the background, they find a common thread in their love of shooting. And that common thread branches out into several shooting-related actives that have all seen a large increase in female participation.”

Once women, and men for that matter, start shooting, they can’t get enough, Foster says, calling it the “potato chip effect.”

She goes on to describe eight different types of female shooters, from those focused on self-defense to competition shooters and hunters.

It’s definitely worth a read.

Foster is the host of “Love at First Shot” on NRAwomen.TV and blogs as