NSSF: Gun sales up because ‘customer base is changing’
By Christen Smith
The gun industry’s leading trade association said earlier this month the media misses the mark when speculating about fluctuating gun sales.
The real reason why background checks — and by proxy, gun sales — ebb and flow, said Larry Keane, NSSF’s general counsel, is a lot less salacious than impending gun control or terrorism.
“Although we at NSSF point this out all the time and we are often quoted, the underlying sales factor that gets short shrift is that more people are participating in the shooting sports,” he said June 8. “While many new shooters first try their hand with a rental or loaner, active participation in a shooting sport generally leads individuals to buy a gun — and quite often, as their interest grows, more than one.”
Keane cited an NSSF special industry report that found target shooting participation increased 44 percent between 2009 and 2016 — proof that the sport appeals to a broader and broader demographic as time passes.
“New shooters are younger, are more female and increasingly diverse in ethnicity,” he said. “The shooting sports are affordable, accessible, and more inclusive than ever before and people are taking full advantage. Even if the industry has room to become more welcoming