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NRA Programs’ growth fueled by increased interest in firearms

Guns and Gear Contributor
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Fairfax, Virginia – National Rifle Association programs have experienced significant growth since 2008 thanks to an increased national interest in the shooting sports, personal safety and hunting.

Demand for popular courses like NRA Basic Pistol and the female-focused Women On Target Instructional Shooting Clinics have led to the NRA rapidly approaching 100,000 trained Certified Firearms Instructors and Range Safety Officers. Responsible for teaching and supervising safe shooting activities, their number has surged from 58,526 to 97,755 in just five years.

The growth of firearms’ popularity among women has been especially noticeable, as participation in Women On Target rose by 67% from 2008 to 2012. Last year 12,142 women were reached through 384 clinics.

“We’re encouraged about the state of firearms in America by the increasing success and reach of our programs,” said Bill Poole, Managing Director of NRA’s Educational and Training Division. “Providing citizens with ways to safely exercise their Second Amendment rights helps them discover new interests and ensures our shooting traditions will be a lasting heritage passed on to future generations.”

Youth Training and the Youth Hunter Education Challenge are additional programs that have seen enormous growth. Nearly four million youth were taught proper firearms use in 2012 by instructors utilizing the NRA’s safety and training program, two million more than in 2008. YHEC, North America’s most comprehensive outdoor skills and safety training program for young hunters, doubled its events and attendees over the five year period, hosting 10,176 juniors over 106 events last year.

The data on the growth of these NRA programs will contribute to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Task Force 20/20, a research project developed in 2008 to increase and monitor hunting and shooting sports participation.

The NRA oversees 178 programs designed to help women, young people, competitive shooters and law enforcement better practice their Second Amendment rights nationwide with quality firearm training, safety and educational opportunities. Learn more at