June 3rd, 2020

Millions of New Gun Owners in America

NSSF Survey new gun owners covid-19 pandemic riots

C0VID-19 lock-downs and now riots and looting in America have caused Americans to be very concerned with the safety of their families and security of their property. Not surprisingly, gun sales have skyrocketed in 2020 compared to the year before. Notably, a significant percentage — 40.2% — of the firearms purchasers are FIRST-TIME gun buyers. And retail dealers say about 40% of those first-time buyers are females, a historically high number. Overall it is estimated that 2.5 MILLION Americans joined the ranks of gun owners during the first four months of 2020.

NSSF-adjusted NICS figures showing year-over-year increases of 80 percent in March and 69 percent in April 2020. These strong increases led to more than 6.5 million NSSF-adjusted background checks in the first four months of 2020, up 48% from 4.4 million during the same period in 2019.

NSSF May 2020 Survey of Firearm Retailers
In May 2020, NSSF surveyed firearm retailers to learn more about gun sales during the first four months of 2020. Retailers reported an increased number of first-time gun buyers, estimating that 40.2% of their sales were to this group. This is a huge increase — nearly double — over the 24% annual average of first-time gun buyers that retailers have reported in the past. Semiautomatic handguns were the primary firearm being purchased by first-time buyers, outpacing the second-most purchased firearm, shotguns, by a 2-to-1 margin. Modern sporting rifles, revolvers and traditional rifles rounded out the top five types of firearms purchased by first-time gun buyers.

All this equates to more than 2.5 million new gun owners in 4 months of 2020.

Retailers noted that these new customers were spending $595 on an average sale and that 40.1% of first-time gun buyers in the first four months of 2020 were female. The main purchase driver among the group was personal protection, followed by target shooting and hunting. Also of note was that 25% of first-time buyers had already taken some form of firearms safety course.

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August 18th, 2019

Results of Survey of Indoor Shooting Range Users

NSSF indoor range survey pistol shooters Southwick Associates range report

How many folks shoot at indoor ranges? What are their shooting preferences and habits? To answer those questions, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) commissioned a nationwide survey of indoor range shooters. The results of this Southwick Associates NSSF Survey are quite interesting.

The survey reveals that a LOT of folks use indoor ranges. In fact, roughly 38% of all U.S. firearm owners shot at an indoor shooting range at least once in the past year. Moreover, indoor range users spend roughly two-thirds of their annual target shooting days at indoor ranges. These target shooters also tend to shoot more often than the average firearm owner. That’s not surprising, since most indoor ranges are located fairly close to residential areas, while outdoor ranges may be 20-50 miles from town.

NSSF indoor range survey pistol shooters Southwick Associates range report
Photo courtesy Silver Eagle Group Shooting Range, Northern Virginia.

Indoor shooting ranges definitely stoke interest in firearms ownership. More than a third of people who go to indoor ranges ultimately buy a firearm after first trying it out indoors. That means we need to support indoor ranges because they are vital in bringing new shooters into the sport.

More Facts about Indoor Range Users in the USA:

Most users (over 80%) use indoor ranges for marksmanship training. Fun or entertainment and improving self-defense skills are also important factors.

Roughly 50% of indoor range shooters shoot at least once a month, while 13% shoot once a week (or even more often).

Semi-automatic handguns were shot by 96% of those who visited an indoor range last year. Revolvers were used by 66% of shooters and modern sporting rifles by 41%.

NSSF indoor range survey pistol shooters Southwick Associates range report

Indoor range users are 10% more likely to have purchased a new firearm in the past year compared to all other firearm owners.

The majority of indoor range users do not currently have a range membership, instead choosing to pay range fees each time they visit.

Three-quarters of indoor range users consider proximity to their home to be an important factor when selecting an indoor range. Location is key to the success of an indoor shooting range.

This NSSF Video Covers Basic Gun Range Safety Rules:

Double-Up on Hearing Protection When Shooting Indoors
When shooting pistols indoors we recommend quality muffs with earplugs underneath, offering double protection. When inside an enclosed range, with other shooters blasting away right next to you, you really need effective hearing protection. But you also need to hear range commands and be able to communicate with your fellow shooters. That’s why we recommend electronic muffs with plugs underneath.

indoor range survey results NSSF

For pistol shooting, we like the latest Howard Leight Impact Pro Muffs. These offer an impressive 30 dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR). In addition, these muffs are pretty comfortable and offer Headphone Functionality so you can connect to your smartphone, MP3 player, or other audio device. These muffs are a good value. They are currently offered for $62.55 on Amazon.com.

Howard Leight Impact Pro Electronic Muffs NRR 30

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