Senior citizens have emerged as a driving demographic behind gun sales, with the National Rifle Association (NRA) indicating seniors’ demand for firearms training is up “400 percent since 2010.”
The “400 percent increase” is a national one, visible in “the number of senior citizens taking a basic firearms course since 2010.” But the increase in senior firearms interest is visible in local settings, as well.
For example, eastern Pennsylvania’s WFMV points to gun stores that report a surge in business from seniors over the past few years. One store, Sensibly Armed in Saint Lawrence, Berks County, PA, reports that “the number of guns sold to seniors has more than tripled in the past three years.” And many of these guns are semiautomatic pistols, which are popular for self-defense usage.
Sensibly Armed manager Ryan Perry observed, “A firearm is the only thing that can put a 95-year-old widow, that hasn’t left the house in 20 years, on the exact same playing field as a 22-year-old boxing heavyweight world champion.”
Seventy-one-year-old Joan Eshelman recently got her permit to carry concealed. She said:
There were so many home invasions and you hear about so many things that happen when people are walking down the street, so I thought it was time. I feel very secure. I know I have a concealed carry permit and I know if I needed to, I could defend myself and my family.
In July 2015, Breitbart News reported surging sales to seniors, which indicated a shift from traditional long gun purchases for hunting to handgun purchases for self-defense. And Fox News reported that Tim Tomich, owner of Tim’s Shooting Academy in Westfield, Indiana, was noticing then not simply a rise in senior purchases, but also a sharp increase in the number of seniors who want training in “how to shoot.”
This is all consistent with the “400 percent increase” in seniors seeking out firearms training courses since 2010.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.