Home on the Range June 2014 — 04 June 2014


jcurcurutoIt seems that more and more firearms-related industry professionals, whether range and retail store owners, manufacturers or state wildlife agencies, are looking for, finding and utilizing solid research reports and statistics to guide them when making important business decisions.

“That’s a great thing.” said Chris Dolnack, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for the National Shooting Sports Foundation.  “It makes good business sense to rely on hard facts coupled with individual knowledge when planning for the future, and we are glad the industry looks to NSSF as the leading provider of research on many topics.”

One such topic is the target shooting market.  With a plethora of research readily available from NSSF on hunters and hunting, NSSF was asked by its members in 2013 to provide additional insight on target shooters and the target shooting market.  NSSF responded in a big way with a variety of new reports and information for its members to better understand this market.

The latest of such reports, NSSF’s “Target Shooting in America: Millions of Shooters, Billions of Dollars,” released during the 2014 SHOT Show, provides the industry with something it has never had before: the economic impact of target shooting.

This 16-page report shows the total economic impact of the target shooting industry nationwide as having nearly $10 billion in retail sales.  To put this in perspective, if the target shooting industry were a company, its sales would nearly double the sales of companies such as Facebook ($5.1 billion sales) and Yahoo ($5 billion) and would be billions more than companies such as Hershey ($6.6 billion) and even Coca-Cola ($7.6 billion).  The more than 185,000 jobs supported by the target shooting industry would rank it as the 26th largest employer in America, eclipsing companies such as Boeing (172,000 employees), Ford (164,000) and Disney (156,000). Annual state, local and federal taxes stemming from the target shooting industry account for approximately $3.5 billion dollars, which is enough to pay the annual basic pay salaries for nearly 90,000 Lieutenants in the U.S. Army.

Those are fun facts, but how can this report help you?

In addition to the national data, the report also provides economic impact statistics on the state level as well.  These state data are further broken into the different shooting disciplines of handgun, shotgun, rifle and muzzleloading.  Individuals, such as Ron Kennedy, General Manager of Scottsdale Gun Club, for example, can focus on what data is important to them.

“I looked at all the data in the report and shared the state-specific information from our ranges home state of Arizona with our employees, management team and financers,” Kennedy noted. “It really helped everyone get a better feel for how large and important target shooting is in our state, and the data will assist us with any possible expansion plans moving forward.”

Manufacturers have used the report data as well.

“When looking at different product markets and deciding which direction to take, it is important to utilize all available information,” said Raluca Picht, Insights Director at ATK Sporting. “We combine our company’s internal insights with several outside sources.  The NSSF’s Target Shooting in America report helped expand our understanding of this very important market segment, and we were able to use the data to support our conclusions”

Due to record sales of firearms and ammunition, state wildlife agencies have been seeing an influx in Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act dollars the past few years, and many agencies are looking to give back to target shooters and sportsmen by investing in state-supported target shooting facilities.

Dan Forster, Director of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, said “It is important for us to be able to justify the need for state-supported target shooting facilities, and the data provided within this NSSF report is very helpful to that end”.

In addition to the uses mentioned above, the data within Target Shooting in America is also beneficial on the political front as well.

“Politicians tend to listen when you talk about jobs and money” said Patrick Rothwell, NSSF’s Director, Government Relations and Federal Affairs.  “And they really listen when you talk thousands of jobs and billions of dollars, which is exactly what this report provides.”

So whether you work at a shooting range, firearms retailer, manufacturer, state wildlife agency or are looking for economic data to support your position on target shooting on a local, state or federal level, there’s something in this report for you.  The Target Shooting in America report can be accessed for free at www.nssf.org/research.  For print copies of the report, please contact me at jcurcuruto@nssf.org.

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