The next generation: Why the gun industry is focusing on youth
By Jacki Billings
A young shooter tests her targeting skills with a Savage Arms suppressed rifle. (Photo: Jacki Billings)
“Start them young,” so the saying goes and that’s exactly what the gun industry is attempting to do. As the current generation of shooters matures, the industry faces a slow collapse if a new batch isn’t bred and ready to replace aging shooters. To combat this gradual demise, enterprising gun makers and rights groups have set their eyes squarely on those under the age of 18, ensuring the greatest chance of survival.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is one of the organizations backing youth shooters. Serving as the gun industry’s trade association, the NSSF says assisting organizations that train and encourage young people falls directly under the scope of the group’s mission.
“As the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, our mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Supporting youth shooting activities are part of that broad mission,” the NSSF’s Mike Bazinet told Guns.com in an email. “We do support organizations that have an outstanding record of safely introducing youth to a variety of the shooting sports and developing their marksmanship skills.”
Bazinet added, “Learning to work as a team, discipline,