News To Keep Antis
Up At Night?

Try 3.5 Million More First-Time
Gun Buyers In First Half Of 2021

It’s the stuff of nightmares for anti-gunners: Americans continue to exercise their Second Amendment rights in droves. After an estimated 8.4 million first-time gun owners entered the market in 2020 — an estimated 3.2 million first-time buyers joined the ranks of firearms ownership in the first half of 2021 alone, according to an NSSF retailer survey.

Despite the well documented challenges procuring firearms and ammunition, dealers have been able to overcome some of these hurdles to fulfill sales — but not to their full potential.

Of those surveyed, 90.9% of dealers say they experienced low firearm inventory and 96.1% had issues with low ammunition availability. Dealers reported handguns and AR-style rifles were the most difficult firearms to get in inventory, which corresponded to centerfire handgun and centerfire rifle ammo being the most problematic to obtain.

If inventory had been available, dealers estimate they would have sold 138.6% more firearms and an additional 205.4% in ammunition sales.

Encouraging Figures

Shedding the “stale, pale, male” label has been the industry’s objective for some time — and the events of the past 18 months have certainly helped reshape the image of the “typical” gun buyer.

Of encouragement, dealers reported widespread increases in firearms purchases from several demographics:
• Over 90% of responding dealers reported an increase of Black men purchasing firearms; nearly 87% reported an increase in Black women buying.
• Almost 84% reported an increase in Hispanic-American men purchasing firearms, while 87% reported an increase among Hispanic-American women.
• Over 76.5% reported an increase in Asian-American men purchasing firearms; more than 82% noted an increase in Asian-American women.

Similar to the trends observed over the past year, the age of first-time buyers are trending younger. Dealers estimate 22.9% of 2021’s buyers were 30 and younger. In fact, according to the survey, 67.4% of the first-time buyers through the first half of 2021 were 50 or younger.

Today’s buyers are getting more diverse and trending younger. Getting them involved as
active participants should be the industry’s next objective.

And They’re Coming Back For More

Not only are these first-time buyers diverse, they’re also coming back. From the survey, dealers estimate 22.1% of 2021’s first-time gun buyers have gone on to purchase another firearm. They approximated selling an average of 1.6 additional firearms to these recent first-time buyers.

Closing out the NSSF’s firearm retailer survey, responding dealers estimated nearly half of their store’s first-time buyers (45.7%) at least asked for information about firearm safety training, while about a quarter (23.6%) signed up for safety training.

Now on the precipice of what will likely be a busy fourth quarter, the industry can expect to continue reaching entirely new segments of customers — much to the chagrin of anti-gun groups.