The Role Of Women In Gun Rights Advocacy


The DC Project meets regularly at the U.S.
Capitol to advocate for our Second Amendment rights.

In this column, I’ve often written about how women are usually an undervalued and overlooked consumer segment, particularly within the shooting industry. Similarly underestimated is our legislative power.

At last estimate (Sept. 2021), there were approximately 123 million adult women in the United States, accounting for 59% of the total U.S. adult population. An estimated 68% of eligible female voters participated in the 2020 presidential election, and according to voter turnout statistics, women have registered and voted at higher rates than men in every presidential election since 1980.

The fact of the matter is, no matter how they vote, women play a huge role in U.S. elections. Not only in national elections, but in state and local elections as well.

Why is this important? Because in a time when pro-gun control organizations like Moms Demand Action are dominating the mainstream media airwaves and going viral on social media, women are the 2A community’s best-suited advocates for countering their disinformation campaigns.

In short, we need politically active gun owners to counter these movements.

“We Give People Pause.”

Passionate about changing the perception of what the American gun owner looks like, Robyn Sandoval said legislators are always surprised that a group of women walking into their offices are on the pro-gun rights side.

“We give people pause,” said Sandoval, “and we’re uniquely positioned to counteract the stories from the other side because we’re able to come at the issue with compassion, knowledge and facts.” 

Sandoval is the owner and executive director of A Girl & A Gun Women’s Shooting League, one of the nation’s largest firearms training organizations for women. She’s also a board member for the DC Project, a nationwide organization of women committed to safeguarding the Second Amendment.

When pro shooter and former NRA World Shooting Lady Champion Dianna Muller founded the DC Project in 2016, she knew she needed to identify at least one woman from each state who shared in her mission.

“If you aren’t a constituent, you can’t get a meeting with your legislators,” said Sandoval. “At the time, A Girl & A Gun already had established chapters in each state, so it was a logical partnership from the very beginning.”

The women of the DC Project and A Girl & A Gun don’t match the picture of gun-crazed extremists portrayed by mainstream media. They’re women of varying races, ages, economic backgrounds and levels of shooting experience. They’re also daughters, moms, grandparents, sisters, neighbors, business owners and community volunteers — many of whom have survived violent crimes or have suffered personal tragedies — which makes them precisely the segment of gun owners society at large needs to see in order to challenge the assumptions and stereotypes.

“The media likes to show passionate people, but 2A advocates are often reluctant to get in front of the camera because they’re aware how easily words can be misconstrued or portrayed in a misleading context,” said Sandoval. 

“And with the gun industry often the first to eat its own, it takes a lot of courage to get out there and speak your mind,” she added. “But we can’t be silent and expect others to fight the fight for us.”

Women’s involvement in gun rights advocacy has been instrumental in fostering a more inclusive and diverse dialogue surrounding firearms in society.

Fostering Year-Round Advocacy

The DC Project’s delegation is currently preparing for their sixth fly-in, which will take place on Capitol Hill later this month. They’ll meet with legislators from both sides of the aisle to educate lawmakers about the realities of gun legislation and the lack of freedom imposed by those laws.

While meeting with legislators and testifying in front of House and Senate committees are a big part of the DC Project’s work, one of their biggest priorities is educating women on the civics of being an advocate year-round.

“It’s important to understand how our government works at every level,” said Sandoval. “Each state is different, so understanding how bills are introduced and how laws are passed is essential to understanding how to effectively use your voice.” 

“So much legislation is passed with the intent to do good, but without considering the unintended consequences,” she added. “It’s up to us to leverage our knowledge, experience and credentials as subject matter experts to educate lawmakers on all sides and potential implications of proposed gun control measures. You also have to know which bills are smoke and mirrors intended to distract and detract.”

What You Can Do

The big question for our readers is, how can gun stores, ranges and manufacturers, which are predominantly male-owned and managed, support women in their advocacy efforts on behalf of the 2A community as a whole?

The answer is simple. 

“Talk about it. Share our mission. Post a flyer. Invite communities of women like A Girl & A Gun into your spaces so we have more opportunities to have these conversations and equip and empower even more women,” Sandoval contended.

Imagine the impact every gun store or range in the country could make by adding an educational seminar to their course offerings on the civics of being an informed and effective 2A advocate.

With the rise in female gun ownership in recent years, women have become powerful advocates for responsible gun ownership, firearm safety education and the preservation of Second Amendment rights. Women’s involvement in gun rights advocacy has been instrumental in fostering a more inclusive and diverse dialogue surrounding firearms in society. Their efforts have helped bridge political divides and broaden the appeal of gun rights, making it an issue that transcends party lines. 

It’s past time for the entire industry to rally behind them and support these efforts.

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