The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has been providing its range members with quality, accurate and timely research for many years. Whether it is providing updates on industry indicators such as background checks (NICS) on firearm sales, firearm production figures or hunting license sales numbers, NSSF leads the way as the go-to source for industry research. Did you know, however, that NSSF also provides more than 40 research reports (many of them free to members) on everything from participation in, and economic impacts of, hunting and target shooting to reports on first-time gun buyers and women gun owners? All these research items can be found on NSSF’s website at www.nssf.org/research.
With so much data available to NSSF range members, the next question is how can you utilize it so that it improves your business? Following are a few examples of NSSF research items and how they can help you better understand the industry and ultimately improve your facility.
One of the most popular research items for range members is NSSFs Customized Market Report (CMR). NSSF produced its thousandth CMR last month, and orders are staying strong even during these challenging economic times. A CMR provides more than 80 pages worth of charts and data to better understand local customer demographics and competition in the area surrounding your range location. The report provides you with a calculation as to the potential number of recreational shooters near your range and includes lists and pinpoint maps of industry-related retailers, law enforcement agencies, FFLs and shooting ranges that are located within your desired radius.
Another very popular report is NSSF’s Industry Reference Guide (IRG). Simply known as “The Source” within the firearms and hunting industry, the IRG is 170 pages of sourced material covering everything from firearm production to participation. Historical data on hunting license sales by state, annual deer harvest, excise tax collections, FFL numbers, firearm production, customer demographics and much more are provided within this one report.
NSSF also has a stable of nine Industry Intelligence Reports (IIR) that dig deeper into select segments of the industry. Take for example a new IIR released this past July entitled A Profile of International Defensive Pistol (IDPA) Shooters. Data within this report shows that IDPA membership is up 69 percent over the past six years and IDPA members spend upward of $30 million annually on this sport. Not bad information to have if you were considering forming an IDPA league at your facility.
Many range owners or employees are often asked about how safe firearms are. A good report to keep handy is NSSFs IIR, Firearms-Related Injury Statistics, which updates annually and provides the latest statistics on how safe firearms actually are. Using data from sources such as the National Safety Council and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this eight-page report can provide a quick reference to relate facts such as that firearms account for only 0.5 percent of all unintentional fatalities in the United States and unintentional firearms-related fatalities are currently at historically low levels.
Did you ever want to know how much money was spent by hunters and target shooters and what these activities mean to the U.S. economy? NSSF’s research reports, Hunting in America and Target Shooting in America, are ideal sources for you to better understand national and state level economic data such as that the nation’s target shooters spend nearly $10 billion annually on their sport; which equates to a per-shooter expenditure of $493 annually. If you are looking for figures to justify expansion, you can review state-level data. For example, Pennsylvania boasts nearly 1 million target shooters, who spend approximately $484 million on retail sales related to target shooting each year. The reports also provide data on jobs, wages and tax contributions from target shooting.
Most people want to know about participation in hunting and target shooting, and NSSF provides a variety of different sources on this topic. One popular report is NSGA Shooting Sports Participation Annual Report. This report details participation in hunting and target shooting sports in the United States. Gender and age group, household income, regional and state data are all provided. The report includes eight sport-segment categories, including handgun, rifle and shotgun target shooting, as well as two NET categories (Total Shooting [Net] is defined as the net of Hunting with Firearms, Target Shooting [Shotgun], Target Shooting [Rifle], Target Shooting [Handgun], Muzzleloading and Target Shooting [Airgun]. Hunting [Net] is defined as the net of Hunting from Hunting with Firearms and Hunting with Bow and Arrow.) The report also comes with a new IIR that provides 10 years’ worth of historical participation data so you will have a better understanding of trends in the different shooting sports and hunting segments.
Want to know more about people new to the market? Read NSSF’s report on First-Time Gun Buyers. The purpose of this study was to determine the primary purchase drivers of first‐time gun buyers and to understand their pre- and post-purchase behaviors and attitudes.
With NSSF providing 40 research reports to its range members, it can be a bit overwhelming. I’d like to share a favorite quote I heard many years ago: “Start simply, but simply start.” Why not download a free report today and read it during lunch or print out a few reports and leave them in the common area of your range for your customers to review? At the very least you’ll have new facts at your disposal, and they will most likely come in handy and help your business thrive.
Editor’s note: Exclusive, free and discounted research are some of the many benefits of membership in the National Shooting Sports Foundation. If you are not currently a member of NSSF, click here to learn more about joining and the benefits of membership.