About 5.4 million people became first-time gun buyers last year—or roughly 30% of all firearms purchased were bought by first-time gun owners, according to new survey results released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).
While this number alone is noteworthy, it’s not the only one. Of the more than five million new gun owners, more than one third were women and nearly half signed up for training.
“We welcome these new gun owners to the greater community of law-abiding Americans who choose to own a firearm for lawful purposes, including self-defense, recreational target shooting and hunting,” said Joe Bartozzi, NSSF president and CEO. “The surveys revealed that new gun owners are continuing to embrace their Second Amendment rights.”
While the 2021 numbers don’t quite match the record-setting highs of 2020—where there were over 8.4 million first-time buyers, roughly 40% of which were women—it certainly continues the trend set two years ago. This clearly shows that there is a strong, sustained interest in gun ownership, particularly among those who are embracing this right for the first time.
The 2021 survey included several other key findings:
- Nearly 47% of first-time gun buyers in 2021 inquired 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.
- More than 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.
- More than 27% of retailers saw an increase of Asian Americans purchasing firearms in 2021.
- More than 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.