New Segmentation Research: Today’s Firearm Consumers

Avatar of a man standing in front of his family, representing the "Family Guardian" consumer segment

Consumers purchase products to satisfy an internal need or desire. Marketing toward consumers core needs and desires will produce better results versus targeting groups based on demographic or use characteristics. For example, women do not buy or not buy firearms because they are female. They purchase based on a range of needs such as security or as a means to have fun or spend time at a range with family and friends.  This National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) study presents the five segments – each with unique motivations and personas – that comprise the U.S. consumer firearms market as of 2020 and updates a similar groundbreaking effort originally released by the NSSF in 2016. Top-level descriptions include:

The Five Motivations-Based Firearm Owner Segments
PercentPrimary Reasons to Purchase
Family Guardian28%Sense of security, Proficient skills, Confidence/empowerment
Skills Builder17%Proficient skills, Fun/relaxation
The Hunter18%Provide own food, Fun/relaxation, Challenge
Urban Defender14%Wants a sense of security away from home and at-home
Prepared for the Worst23%To be ready in case of trouble, Proficient skills

These updated personas are based on a survey of more than 1,100 U.S. firearm owners who purchased a firearm in 2020. Combined with the latest in statistical segmentation techniques, the results provide insights needed to help businesses truly target and connect with firearms consumers by speaking to their core needs and desires.

A summary report is available from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) with the detailed report found at Southwick Associates. There is no cost to download these reports. Later in 2021, additional detailed insights regarding each persona’s product preferences, the shopping journey and information sources/touchpoints will be available.

A similar segmentation report is available for sportfishing. Click here.