The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is the firearms industry trade group. In addition to lobbing government on behalf of the gun dealers, manufacturers and (yes) end users, the NSSF is a pretty statistics-intensive organization. Their latest statfest is based on a sample of about 10k handgun owners who completed an online survey. It may not have laid U.S. handgun ownership bare, but it provided some key insights into the purchasing habits and intended uses of American handgun owners. The first thing we learn is once you pop you just can’t stop . . .
The average handgun owner surveyed owns between two to five handheld heaters. Beware! One out of every five handgun owners owns one gun. Remember: this survey was distributed via websites where “gun people” tend to congregate. It makes sense that people who like guns own multiple guns.
Still, the results match what we’ve been seeing anecdotally: those who own guns usually own more than one. You can’t own just one wrench, you can’t eat just one Lay’s potato chip and you can’t own just one gun.
Unless you’re my Dad, and that’s because I’ve been slowly leeching the collection away from him before he does what my Grandfather did and died with a ton of guns in New York which were quickly sent to be destroyed.
Another interesting fact: most people don’t really go to the range that often.
Out of the 10k or so responses, the largest percentage of gun owners visit their range less than once a month. Which is slightly worrying, considering that a good number of them plan to use their handgun to defend their lives or their homes (more about that in another post).
When these handgun owners go to the range, they like to bring other people along. As the graph above indicates, shooting is a social experience. So where do they go to bust a few caps? Private property.
I’ve never had the pleasure of being able to go out into my front yard and pop off a few rounds. Apparently the rest of the nation considers that more or less normal. Almost makes a city boy green with envy. The next most popular location is an outdoor public range, followed by a public indoor range.
The NSSF does a fantastic job collating firearms industry stats, which help us understand both the business and personal side of exercising our gun rights. We’ll bring you more NSSF insight and analysis as it drops.