Ever since the first “Obama surge,” the civilian disarmament industry’s been telling the world that the gun industry’s soaring sales are down to racist, right-wing paranoid OFWG’s stocking-up for armed insurrection [paraphrasing, but only just]. The People of the Gun knew better. In the absence of hard numbers, they clocked the decreasing age, increasing diversity and growing numbers of people hitting the range and came to an obvious conclusion: target shooting is all the rage. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) now has some data to back-up that impression. [Press release after the jump.] According to a survey commissioned by the industry lobby group, target shooters are “younger, female and urban when compared to established target shooters, or those participating for more than five years . . . 20 percent of all target shooters began participating in the past five years. ” Urban shooters’ market share has grown 13 percent. Winning? Yes. But tell that to gun owners in California . . .
NEWTOWN, Conn. — The face of America’s target shooters is changing. New target shooters–those who have taken up the sport in the last five years–are younger, female and urban when compared to established target shooters, or those participating for more than five years, according to a survey commissioned by the National Shooting Sports Foundation®.
Just how this new segment of target shooters varies from established target shooters can be found in the Analysis of Sport Shooting Participation in the U.S. 2008-2012, the findings of which are based on a survey conducted by Responsive Management, a public opinion research firm specializing in outdoor recreation issues. [Available free to NSSF members. Nick to eyeball ASAP.]
The demographics of new shooters show they are . . .
Younger: 66 percent of new shooters fall into the 18-to-34-year-old category compared to 31 percent in the same age category for established shooters.
Female: 37 percent of new target shooters are female compared to 22 percent of established target shooters.
Urban: 47 percent of new target shooters live in urban/suburban settings versus 34 percent of established target shooters.
The report shows that one-fifth of target shooters in America first started participating in the shooting sports between 2008 and 2012. That means 20 percent of all target shooters began participating in the past five years.
“The landscape of target shooters has shifted,” said Jim Curcuruto, NSSF’s director of research and analysis. “This is data that everyone doing business in our industry should be aware of.”
Mark Damian Duda, executive director of Response Management, pointed out, “While mentoring by family members in a generally rural setting is the traditional pathway for newcomers to participating in target shooting and hunting, the research shows that new shooters today include many who did not follow or have access to the traditional pathway.”
The expansion of younger, female and urban-based participants coincides with the surge in firearms sales that occurred over the same 2008-2012 period.
The report also covers factors related to why new and established target shooters participate, as well as the types of activities they are participating in.