It’s real big.
America is the best armed country in the world, with estimates of 300,000,000 guns in the United States and 80,000,000 gun owners. Last year,there was a record-setting 21,093,273 background checks done through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Checks System (NICS) and there have been at least 10,000,000 background checks per year since 2006. Shooting is big business and it continues to grow.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for gun manufacturers, has compiled the economic impact of the target shooting industry in the United States. According to United Nations data, the money generated by the US target shooting industry is bigger than the individual gross domestic product of 90 countries. If American gun owners formed their own country, it would be the 15th most populated nation in the world.
Right now the NSSF is holding the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade show (SHOT) in Las Vegas, Nev. The show is a gathering of thousands of vendors and tens of thousands of attendees. The SHOT show is the 5th largest trade show in Las Vegas. What that means for American shooters is that the state of the industry is strong and we can look forward to a prosperous and successful 2014 — if we can preserve our 2nd Amendment rights, of course.