NSSF survey: Shooting sports participation on the rise

NSSF, The Firearm Industry Trade Association, released the Firearm Ownership & Sport Shooting Participation in the U.S. in 2022 report. The report highlights 24.1% growth of adult participation in sport shooting in America from 2009 to 2022. Surveys indicate that during that time, sport shooting participation grew from 34 million adult participants to over 63.5 million.

Key survey findings showed the most popular types of recreational sports shooting for adult participation in 2022 were target shooting with a handgun, at 16.9%, target shooting with a rifle, with 15.6% and target shooting at an outdoor range, at 13.3%. The report also indicated that recreational target shooting at indoor ranges recovered to pre-COVID 19 levels, after an unsurprising dip during which pandemic protocols suppressed indoor shooting range participation. In 2022, 17% of all adults participating in the shooting sports were newcomers, a 42% growth since 2020 that reflected the similar changes in demographics as seen in firearm purchasers. Today’s recreational marksmen and women are more representative of a broader scope of American demographic groups, increasingly urban and represented by women.

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“These are encouraging figures that are consistent with the other trends we see in the monthly FBI background checks and industry production reports reflecting growth in firearm ownership. Safe and responsible firearm ownership goes hand in hand with regular participation in the shooting sports,” said Joe Bartozzi, NSSF’s President and CEO. “Proficiency, accuracy and safe firearm-handling skills are learned and sharpened through regular and consistent shooting sports participation. Whether firearm owners shoot recreationally or competitively, recreational shooting sports are for everyone and makes our community of firearm owners safer, more responsible and more inclusive.”

The Firearm Ownership & Sports Shooting Participation Report follows similar findings in other NSSF reports, including the monthly NSSF-Adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Checks System (NICS) data and the Firearm Production in the United States report recently made available to NSSF members. The Firearm Ownership & Sports Shooting Participation Survey report also underscores the value and importance of NSSF’s +One campaign to grow shooting sports participation in the United States. If hunters and target shooters in America dedicate themselves to introducing someone new to the shooting sports, participation would double.

Republished with permission from NSSF.

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