Data supplied by the good people at the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) reveals that the number of “target shooters” in the nation rose from 34.4 million Americans in 2009 to 52.1 million Americans in 2018—a jump of 51% in “new target shooters.” For data-gathering purposes, NSSF research defined “new target shooter” as someone who had begun shooting in the past five years and had not shot beforehand.
According to NSSF statistics, the new target shooter is more likely to be female and younger than established shooters. A full 47% (nearly half) of the new target shooters are women—compared to just 22% of established shooters being female. The average age of the new shooters is 34 years old, while the average age for established shooters is 45.
Meanwhile, 47% of these new shooters live in urban and suburban locales. Also a smaller but growing percentage of these new shooters are from minority groups.
Most of the new target shooters are also new gun owners. Some may use firearms from a friend or family member, and a few may be target shooters by renting firearms at shooting ranges. But most have purchased a firearm.
What does this mean? Hopefully, it means our Second Amendment right will continue to enjoy a high level of support as it always has, and increasingly from a more diverse pool of Americans.
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