In the not so distant past the future for many local shooting ranges didn’t look so bright. Attendance was dropping, as a generation of regular customers grew older and visited less often – and new people weren’t showing up. It seemed like the sport of target shooting was slowly extinguishing.
Then, seemingly from nowhere, a resurgence came.
Ranges started filling up, waitlists started to grow again, and manufacturers began marketing shooting related products to brand-new consumers. Soon shooting clubs and groups began popping up all over the country, and new additions to the sport like long range shooting contests became popular. The NRA now estimates that over 40 million Americans enjoy recreational shooting each year.
So, what happened?
There are various reasons for this rise in popularity of indoor shooting ranges, starting with a national focus on gun safety. Regardless of their position on firearms in general, most would agree that providing a safe learning environment where students can gain hands-on experience with qualified teachers is a good thing. In this way, indoor ranges play a key role in educating the public on gun safety and proper handling of firearms.
*We host many classes and special events at our various locations, check out the calendar for more info on what’s happening near you!
New Recreational Shooters
There are also key groups that responsible for this new-found popularity. An increasing number of gun owners and gun users are now female, a trend growing in staggering numbers. According to the National Sporting Goods Association, women who participate in target shooting increased more than 50 percent in 10 years, and there was a 42 percent increase in women hunting. Estimates indicate women represent more than 25% of target shooters in some places.
And women aren’t just shooting target practice. Recently the National Shooting Sports Federation reported a 73 percent increase in the number of female customers at gun shops and approximately 23 percent of women report owning a gun.
In addition to women, many parents have found recreational shooting as a good way to spend quality time with their children and properly educate them on firearm safety and etiquette while improving their shooting skills. Taking your family shooting provides valuable lessons that cannot be taught in any other environment. When you take your family shooting at the range, you are not only teaching them about target shooting, but you are instilling in them the importance of respect, safety and focus.
This has helped foster another group that has really contributed to the success of indoor ranges in recent years, a younger generation of shooters. While searching for extra-curricular groups and activities to add to their resume, many millennials have turned to their local target shooting clubs.
Where most sports tend to favor certain body types or genders, shooting sports can be enjoyed by all. Those who may not normally be able to succeed on the football field or on a basketball court, suddenly find themselves at the head of the pack when looking down their sights at a target. Even those with physical limitations can participate and compete in shooting sports. This all-inclusive nature of recreational shooting appeals to today’s youth.
Shooting a gun accurately requires children to quiet their minds – and lining up the sights on a distant target takes a great deal of deep concentration. This can be a valuable skill in today’s short attention span environment! Handling a firearm correctly also requires responsibility.
Depending on caliber (such as .22 for example), target shooting can be quite inexpensive too, especially when compared to sports that are equipment-intensive like football or hockey. This certainly adds to its appeal for any shooter!
We Cater to All
Shoot Point Blank was built on the philosophy that all people should feel welcome at our facilities regardless of their age, gender or experience level. It doesn’t matter if you’re an old pro when it comes to firearms or never picked up a gun in your life, you’ll be comfortable at any of our locations.
When you visit, you’ll see how we focus on fundamentals of firearm safety, education and of course fun!
We hope you’ll come see us at one of our locations across the country, including our convenient Columbus indoor shooting range.