NASHVILLE, TN — Women were the minority at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting this weekend, but those who did attend were not ignored. The gun group held the second annual “Women’s New Energy Breakfast” on Sunday for female-only NRA members and family. And a seminar on methods of concealed carry included a section dedicated to the female body and the best ways to hide a gun on it.
“Most of the holsters that exist today were designed for men and don’t work for women,” former Chicago police officer Tom Marx told the audience before showing them a number of products designed with only men in mind.
For years, the NRA has been making attempts to expand its reach beyond white, middle-aged men and to appeal to more women. As women-led groups like Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America gain traction in the fight for gun control measures across the country and with a presumptive female Democratic nominee for president, the NRA has acknowledged that it can no longer ignore the demographic.
The efforts might be working — according to a December 2014 poll, more than half of women now say that owning a gun protects people from becoming a victim of crime, while only 43 percent say guns put people’s safety at risk. Just one year earlier, a poll conducted by a separate group showed that 65 percent of women favored stricter gun laws.
The gun manufacturers and other supplies who had booths at the NRA’s meeting did not ignore the opportunity to capitalize on the female audience. Here are some of the products for sale to women — the pink gave them away — from the sprawling 450,000 square foot exhibit hall: