Boom: 5.4M first-time gun buyers, 33% women, blacks up 44%

Gun News


First-time gun buyers continued to flood into firearms stores last year, broadening the once male and white market with women, blacks, Asians, and Hispanics.

Retailers reported that concerns about safety helped to drive 5.4 million first-timers into gun stores where many bought more than one gun, and a sizable number also signed up for gun handling classes.

Joe Bartozzi, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, said, “The surveys revealed that new gun owners are continuing to embrace their Second Amendment rights and nearly half of them are seeking out professional training. These trends show that not only is there still a strong interest in gun ownership but also that these new gun owners are interested in learning more about the safe and responsible handling, use and storage of firearms.”

He shared the new data as part of the industry group’s annual “Shot Show” in Las Vegas that draws tens of thousands to view new equipment and technology. It also kicks off the late winter season of gun and outdoors shows, with the next one being the National Rifle Association’s Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Gun buying has been surging nonstop amid the jump in violent crimes and concerns about President Joe Biden’s threat to stop sales of semi-automatic weapons, a threat he renewed this month.

The FBI reported that 2021 recorded the second-most ever background checks for weapon sales.

NSSF focused on the increases in minority and new buyers. Their data show:

  • Nearly 47% of first-time gun buyers in 2021 asked about training and 43% signed up for training.
  • Nearly 23% of retailers indicated that first-time gun buyers in 2020 purchased another firearm in 2021.
  • Over 33% of first-time gun buyers in 2021 were women.
  • 44% of retailers saw an increase of African-Americans purchasing firearms in 2021.
  • Nearly 40% of retailers saw an increase of Hispanic Americans purchasing firearms in 2021.
  • Over 27% of retailers saw an increase of Asian Americans purchasing firearms in 2021.
  • Over 18% of retailers saw an increase of Native Americans purchasing firearms in 2021.
  • Nearly 14% of retailers saw an increase of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders purchasing firearms in 2021.



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