Target shooting is worth millions in Idaho

STATESMAN STAFFJanuary 23, 2014 

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A variety of targets makes rifle shooting and plinking more fun.

ROGER PHILLIPS — Idaho Statesman Buy Photo

Ever wonder what’s happening with all those new guns and aisles of ammo sold at gun shops and sporting goods stores? Well, here’s your answer.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation recently released a new report about the importance of target shooting activities to the economies of Idaho and the nation.

Target shooting-related spending contributed $141,758,947 to Idaho’s economy and supported 1,582 jobs, the report found.

“Target Shooting in America: Millions of Shooters, Billions of Dollars” provided a first-ever look at U.S. target shooting-related expenditures, and state-by-state statistics for the number of target shooters, retail sales, taxes and jobs.

Nationally, the money target shooters spent in 2011 resulted in $23 billion added to the nation’s economy and supported more than 185,000 jobs.

“More people target shooting is good news for the industry, and it is equally good news for America’s economy,” said NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti.

NSSF is the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry.

Retail sales related to target shooting account for nearly $10 billion, with rifle and handgun shooting being the leading contributors, followed by shotgun and muzzleloader shooting. California and Texas are the top two states ranked by retail sales.

Combining data from the NSSF’s report with a similar one — “Hunting in America” — shows that target shooters and hunters together added more than $110 billion into the nation’s economy, fueling more than 866,000 jobs.

“Communities and businesses of all sizes benefit from these activities,” said Sanetti.

Target shooters ($8.2 billion) and hunters ($8.4 billion) spend nearly equal amounts on equipment common to both pursuits, such as firearms, ammunition and accessories. Hunters spend more overall than target shooters when fuel, food, lodging and transportation are included.

“We’ve long known about the recreational benefits of these activities, and now we know how much they contribute to our country’s financial well-being,” Sanetti said.

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