Whether you’re a first-time gun owner or experienced, here are 10 ways to enjoy the target shooting sports and special events
America’s millions of first-time firearm owners will find National Shooting Sports Month in August a great time to enjoy using their new firearms, whether in a training course, competition or simply having fun shooting targets with friends. NSSF estimates 8.4 million people purchased their first firearm last year, with many of them being non-traditional buyers.
Developed by NSSF, the firearm industry trade association, National Shooting Sports Month encourages newcomers as well as experienced gun owners to spend an exciting day at the range with their handgun, rifle or shotgun enjoying the target-shooting sports, which boast more than 56 million adult and youth participants.
As if you needed help to find ways to enjoy National Shooting Sports Month, here are 10 of them:
It helps to have a mentor show you the ropes when taking up a new activity. NSSF’s +ONE Movement asks experienced shooters to mentor newcomers and novices on how to safely handle firearms and develop skills to hit their targets, whether they’re paper, steel plates or moving clays. Experienced shooters can help secure the future of shooting sports by taking the +ONE pledge to introduce someone new to target shooting this August!
A Date at the Range
Make it a date! Ask your spouse, partner, boyfriend or girlfriend to go target shooting with you. You’ll have a great time together. Women are the fastest growing group in target shooting, and more gear than ever has been designed for their fit and comfort. Don’t have someone to go with? Call the range and ask about their leagues and training classes.
Haven’t shot in a while? Dust off your shooting gear—always check to see if firearms are loaded when removing them from storage—and call an old shooting buddy or ask your granddaughter or grandson to join you. Clay target sports such as skeet, trap and sporting clays are perfect for socializing.
What to Expect at the Range
Safety orientation, range rules, range officers . . . there are things you need to know about if you haven’t spent much time at a target shooting range, or perhaps you need to refresh your memory. Learn what to expect here. And watch this video on Range Safety and Etiquette before stepping up to the firing line.
#LetsGoShooting is the theme of National Shooting Sports Month. Share the hashtag and your experiences on your favorite social media networks and remind others to head out to the range for a day of fun and socializing. Discover the skill-building and fun other target shooters are having at the range by following the #LetsGoShooting feeds.
Cash in on Deals
Retailers and ranges will be offering specials during National Shooting Sports Month at thousands of events nationwide. Find a participating business near you to take advantage of these offers at LetsGoShooting.org.
Tune Up for Hunting Season
Many people are taking up hunting because they’re interested in harvesting their own healthful food. If that’s you, a trip to a firearm retailer or range can provide answers on how to get started hunting, such as enrolling in a hunter education course and practicing your shooting to be ready in time for the fall seasons. NSSF’s LetsGoHunting.org website has loads of information.
Practice Firearm Safety
The shooting sports are safe. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Responsible gun owners safely handle their firearms and securely store them when not in use, whether at home, in a vehicle or at the range. Thanks to responsible gun owners and programs like NSSF’s Project ChildSafe, fatal firearms accidents are at all-time low levels.
Celebrate Freedom and Tradition
In addition to passing on the great tradition of target shooting, you can educate others about the unique American freedoms that make firearm ownership and the shooting sports possible. See NSSF’s Proud to be a Firearms Owner pocket card and video and also learn about NSSF’s Gun Owners Care.
Win a Great Prize!
Finally, enter the Gearbox Giveaways at LetsGoShooting.org for a chance to win great prizes from generous National Shooting Sports Month sponsors.
For regular updates on National Shooting Sports Month and for other target shooting resources, follow the LetsGoShooting pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Remember, help make others aware of the great pastime of target shooting by sharing your experiences on social media and using the hashtag #LetsGoShooting.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit nssf.org.