WASHINGTON - The musical "Annie Get Your Gun" is based on the life of sharpshooter Annie Oakley. Today a lot of women are walking in her footsteps.
Gun sales to women have risen, and more women now participate in shooting sports, The New York Times reports.
The National Sporting Goods Association says in the last decade the number of women who participated in shooting sports increased to more than 5 million, up 51.5 percent from 2001 to 2011.
Female gun owners cross the political spectrum too. Some are Republicans, others are Democrats.
Women often learn to shoot for different reasons than men, however. It's not just a hobby or even self-defense, but independence and personal power.
Makers of guns are starting to turn advertising toward women as well, selling smaller guns and even making them in customer colors, like pink, The New York Times reports.
D.C. attorney and gun rights activist Gayle Trotter even testified at a U.S. Senate hearing in January saying that guns make women safer.
Trotter's comment mirrors thoughts of some women who believe guns are an equalizer should they be threatened with violence, especially from a man.