Stop me if you've heard this before, “A woman walks into a gun store, and a guy says…”

Since starting my Instagram account three years ago, hundreds of women have messaged me with gun store stories. Some have made me shake my head and chuckle, and others have made me cringe and wish she'd had a better experience.

Recently, I asked my female followers to send me the one thing they don't want to hear at the gun store. I received over 300 replies, and many women repeated the same thing over and over again.

Here are five cringeworthy things women don't want to hear at the gun store:

1. Are you shopping for your husband (or boyfriend)?


Gun Store Counter
When a guy walks up to the counter, the gun store clerk doesn't just assume he wants a gun for his wife before he even says a word. (Photo: Don Summers/

I asked my husband how many times he's heard, "Are you buying something for your wife?", at the gun store, and his answer was zero. I wouldn’t mind if he picked something up for me, but it does make me laugh to think about someone asking him that.

According to the 2021 National Firearms Survey, approximately 42.2 percent of American firearm owners are women. The survey states that an estimated 3.5 million women became new gun owners from January 2019 to April 2021. During that time, about 4 million men became new gun owners.

Years ago, it was true that men made up the majority of gun purchases, but these days the ladies are getting armed, too. Women are now the fastest-growing demographic in the firearms industry and will likely account for at least half of the sales over the coming years.

2. We keep the pink guns over here

There's pretty, and then there's functional. Women appreciate practical firearms, not just ones that look nice. (Photo: Samantha Mursan/

Women like pretty things, and we've all purchased something based on looks alone. Hello to the gorgeous pair of 5-inch heels in my closet that I've worn once. Except when we're talking about guns, it's a much more serious purchase. Companies market pink – or purple or Tiffany blue – guns to women based on appearance rather than function.

When picking out a gun for personal defense, factors like fit, feel, caliber, and ability to handle are far more important than how it looks. It's easy to make a sale recommending something pretty, but it's probably not in the customer's best interest.

3. Just throw it in your purse

Asfaleia Concealed Carry Tote Bag
Proper purse carry is hardly just tossing a gun in your old purse. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

I'd bet most men who suggest purse carry haven't tried it themselves, so they aren't aware that it's more complicated than it seems. Carrying in a purse seems easy until you try it. There are so many factors to consider, like the purse type, the size of the opening, the holster attachment, etc.

Drawing from a purse is slow and difficult without a lot of practice. There's a lot of room for error when reaching into a bag that holds your gun, wallet, keys, lipstick, etc. Not to mention the safety risks of off-body carry. Purses can be snatched and stolen, or someone can reach inside and grab what they want. You have to be twice as vigilant and always maintain control of the purse.

Women are capable of carrying on-body. We can even carry – gasp – appendix! Yes, we have unique challenges compared to men, but many of us do it daily without issue. 

4. A revolver is the best gun for a woman


A new shooter fires a revolver
No, revolvers are not simply the best first gun for women. (Photo: Don Summers/

I've only been around guns for about 15 years, so I don't know how long the "revolvers are the best guns for women" myth has been around, but I'm ready for it to go away. I've heard revolvers described as having "softer recoil." If someone tells you a .38 Special recoils less than a 9mm, run!

I've also heard them sold as easier to handle because there's no magazine. Women can load, insert, and drop magazines just fine. We can rack slides, too!

Guns know no gender, and women don't need an "easier" gun. I'm not anti-revolver either. They are cool guns, and you should stick with what works for you. But I don't think they're the universal best gun for women, especially for personal defense and concealed carry. 

5. That's too much gun for you, here's something smaller


A new shooter fires a M249 machine gun
Women don't just like tiny, snappy pistols. (Photo: Don Summers/

When I bought my first gun, I opted for the tiniest one they had at the store. I took it to the range twice and hated shooting it. Fifteen years later, it's still sitting in my safe. Thankfully, I've found better options since then.

Not all women are looking for a tiny gun, and small doesn't always mean better. Smaller firearms are notoriously more difficult to handle and draw. They almost always have more recoil than a larger, heavier gun, too. 

Snappy little guns aren't fun to shoot. And when you don't enjoy shooting, you probably won't train as much as you should.


At the end of the day, shopping for a gun can be intimidating, especially for new shooters and women who feel out of place. Let's ditch the cringe and make women feel comfortable taking the first step to protecting themselves.

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