Target Shooting Proves to be Potent Economic Engine

Target Shooting Proves to be Potent Economic Engine
Target shooting is a potent economic engine.
Target shooting
Target shooting is a potent economic engine.

Whether it’s a day at the range or an afternoon plinking tin cans, Americans love to shoot.

That isn't news, especially for anybody taking the time to read this post. What might come as bit of surprise, however, is what sort of money American's shell out to thumb off a few rounds each year. According to a new report by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, it’s no small potatoes.

When just the retail aspects of target shooting are calculated – guns, ammo, range time, etc. — it turns out Americans spend some $9.9 billion annually – more than the NFL’s yearly revenue. That's pretty impressive, but it is dwarfed by the sport's overall scope in the economy. If the total amount of spending that occurs in the economy as a result of target shooters’ spending is taken into account — what is known as the multiplier effect — the numbers become somewhat mind boggling:

As target shooters’ dollars exchanged hands, $23 billion in economic activity was created, producing $3.5 billion in sorely needed state and federal tax revenues.

The report estimates target shooting supported 185,402 jobs across the United States in 2011. When hunting is included the monetary and employment impacts of gun sports go through the roof:

Collectively, these two industries generate $110 billion in economic output and support 866,339 jobs. That’s more jobs than the combined employees of IBM and McDonald’s.

Target shooting
Target shooting is a strong economic driver in America.

Some other notable points from the report:

  • The average target shooter spends 22 days in the field or at the range.
  • Nebraska target shooters spent the most time thumbing rounds off with 38 days of participation each. Arizona and Oregon spend the second and third most time shooting, 36 and 35 days respectively.
  • Californian shooters spent the most, shelling out $843 million annually. The next two biggest spending states are Texas ($812 million) and Pennsylvania ($483 million).
  • The average spent per shooter each year is $406; the top three categories for spending are firearms ($194), ammunition ($58) and range fees ($35).
  • When it comes to target shooting, rifles and handguns are roughly tied as the most popular firearm.

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