Who Makes Up The Home-Protection Market For Firearms?

By Rob Southwick

Nearly half of those who intend to buy a firearm for protection are women.

Those who intend to buy a firearm for protection are more likely to be Hispanic.

Nearly half of those who intend to buy a firearm for protection either have no firearms knowledge or are at a beginner’s level.

Three-fourths of those who recently bought a firearm for protection target shoot during their free time.

75% of the protection market falls into four consumer segments.

Those who maintain a firearm for protection spend 52% more per year on equipment and other supplies (for recreational or protection purposes) than other firearm owners.

Protection-oriented firearm owners have specific needs compared to recreational users, according to Southwick Associates and NSSF. This diverse group — nearly half are female and higher-than-normal rates of Hispanic participation — is one of the highest spending categories of firearm consumers, spending $460 annually on firearms, ammo, accessories and services.

Southwick Associates and NSSF recently released a special report on the At-Home and Away-From-Home Protection Market For Firearms, a supplement to The Consumer Segmentation Analysis on the U.S. Commercial Firearms and Accessories Report released last year. This special report examines the demographics, firearm-related activities, motivations, needs, purchase drivers and shopping habits of those who own a handgun or long gun, or intend to buy one soon, for protection purposes. This is the fourth in a series of consumer segmentation reports of the U.S. firearms market.

“Close to half of protection-oriented firearms buyers are first-time gun owners. This is one of our industry’s key growth markets and deserves special attention when determining product design plus your marketing and sales approaches,” reported Nancy Bacon, Southwick Associates VP. “You typically will find these consumers needing extra attention, but seldom will find them using traditional firearms marketing and media channels.”

Younger protection buyers — typically in their 40s — are more likely to select an MSR than older buyers, though semi-auto handguns are still the preferred choice. While not considering themselves firearm experts, the largest share considers themselves knowledgeable enough to use their firearms safely and reliably.

Other insights help explain the difference between people who have long maintained firearms for protection and those buying their first. First-time consumers are less likely to be Caucasian and slightly more educated than repeat buyers. Reliability and quality are among the top traits for selecting a specific firearm among a list of 16 common purchase drivers.

Visit www.southwickassociates.com/firearms-consumer-segmentation for access to other findings and more information.

The At-Home And Away-From-Home Protection Market report is available from Southwick Associates and is designed to accompany the comprehensive firearms consumer segmentation report that is also currently available. Details also include how these customers describe themselves, common firearm and accessory purchases, information sources, common consumer segments, motivations to buy and more. Custom segmentation research is also available based on the study’s database of 100,000 detailed consumer surveys. Contact Nancy Bacon for more information: nancy@nullsouthwickassociates.com.

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