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Young Guns

Sebastian on the gun nut demographic:

As I look out at the crowd at this meeting, Im struck by the fact that most of them appear to be over 50, and I see maybe only a handful of us that are under 40. If this is a true reflection of the NRA demographic, were in a lot of trouble over the long term.

He says we’re in trouble, like Democrats. Now, as evidenced by the Gun Blogger Rendezvous, I’m one of the younger gun bloggers (at 35). I don’t think we’re in trouble. Because ever since I’ve been a gun nut, I’ve noticed the older crowd hangs out at the gun shows and shooting ranges. I’ve been a gun nut for a while and it’s not the same people. I think it’s just that they have a bit more time and money to devote to their hobby than some young, 20-year-old college kid can.

Still, take a kid shooting.

Update: More here.

7 Responses to “Young Guns”

  1. Greg Morris Says:

    Well, i’m 26… and although my blog is not 100% gun-related, I still drop a pro-2A rant in there from time to time. I actually bought my first gun when I was 24. Even a broke college kid can usually scrounge up enough money for a cheapo Mosin-Nagant or SKS (my first 2 rifles.) The problem comes in when you decide you really like guns, and you get addicted, and want to buy more, you can’t afford that pimped-out 1911 or even a good trap gun. So I can defend myself, and I can make it down to the range to poke some holes in paper targets. But reading gun blogs just makes me want to stash some money from time to time so I can save up for a shiney new CCW gun, or tack-driving rifle.

  2. Sebastian Says:

    I noticed that there were quite a few more young guys on the floor than in the meeting hall. As some have commented on my site, that’s probably always been the case. The interesting thing is, the young guys were all concentrated around booths featuring handguns and black rifles.

    The market is definitely changing between generations. Hell, maybe the next generation of NRA members will be more willing to push getting rid of the Hughes Amendment.

  3. Austin Mike Says:

    Old guys go to NRA conventions for their vacations, young guys go skiiing in Colorado or snorkeling in Cozumel.

    How hard is it to get the NRA to break down their membership demographics?
    NRA won’t say, from their website: How many members does NRA have and how many are women? At the present time, NRA has approximately 4.3 million members. NRA does not compile demographic information on members.

    Wayne LaPierre gave a speech a while back in which he said:

    http://www.commonwealthclub.org/archive/04/04-03laPierre-qa.html As of 2004 women buy more self defense guns, Hispanics and young people poll pro-2nd, but NRA membership is mostly male.

    So the conclusion of the blog article remains undisputed.

  4. Sebastian Says:

    The NRA won’t get into too much detail about their membership demographics, because you don’t really want policy makers knowing it. It’s better to be able to trot out a large number and keep them guessing. If a politician gets a letter from a constituent who is in the NRA, he is left wondering whether there might be hundreds, maybe thousands more people more behind that. If you published that information, politicians would know exactly how strong the NRA is with certain demographics, and that wouldn’t be a good thing.

  5. Ahab - my young guns post Says:

    Then I go the range, and I don’t see anyone under the age of 35-40. I’m there every other week, and I very rarely see young adults such as myself shooting. I do see the occasional family (which is good), but I’d like to see more 23-29 young professional there enjoying a nice day and some hot brass.

  6. Greg Morris Says:

    Before I moved to FL, my hometown (Morgantown, WV) handgun range always seemed to have a decent mix of old/young folks. Every time I went there, I’d notice some 20-something guy teaching his girlfriend to shoot a .22, or a young lady there on her own (usually with a bigger gun than me.) In fact, the CCW class they teach there almost always has more women than men, and many of them are younger women. I’d be more interested to see gun-ownership/carry/use demographics, than NRA membership though.

  7. Homer Says:

    We just did our annual Ladies’ Day at the Gun Range this past Saturday, with about 210 women participating. I’d say the average age was about 35, with a large percentage in their mid-late 20s, another substantial percentage in their mid 40s, some in their teens accompanied by a parent. I think we’re OK demographically-speaking.