In 2016 a study conducted by, Southwick Associates and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) it was found that roughly 24 million individuals who were not firearm owners had serious interest in purchasing their first firearm within the next few years. Based on their primary motivations for wanting to purchase their first firearm, potential first-time buyers were divided into eight segments. While each segment is drawn to the firearms market by a unique set of motivations, most segments share the same concerns related to purchasing a firearm. In a recent project for the NSSF, Southwick Associates followed up with these segments to understand how best to usher them into the market for their first firearm. This report details the firearms and accessories that potential first-time buyers are interested in purchasing, in addition to the marketing tactics that can be employed to successfully motivate this population to purchase.
When asked why they haven’t purchased a firearm yet, affordability was the most cited answer. In a time when firearm safety is frequently discussed, many potential firearm buyers are carefully considering the cost of a gun safe, locks, concealed carry courses, training, and other measures when contemplating the purchase of their first firearm. The costs of meeting these safety concerns factor into the affordability of firearm ownership.
Furthermore, the results of this research are indicative of perceptions of the firearms market held by those with little or no experience in the firearms market. Many respondents indicated they don’t understand regulations regarding firearm ownership well enough to feel comfortable purchasing a firearm. This is likely more reflective of a lack of education rather than the regulations themselves. By focusing efforts on education and awareness, the firearms industry could have a simpler path to propel potential owners to the market.
Ultimately, to persuade potential first-time firearm buyers to make a purchase, the marketing techniques used to reach these segments needs to differ greatly from those the techniques used with current owners.
This report is available now. Click here to view.