News & Politics

Report: Americans More Active, Increase Attributed to Growth in Shooting Sports

A report released by the Physical Activity Council on May 23rd has some good news: Americans are increasing their activity. The report finds that the number of inactive Americans dropped to 81.6 million in 2015, down from 82.7 million in 2014.

“Inactive” means someone participate in zero out of 104 designated activities over the course of a year, which means if you do one of them once, you’re active for the purpose of this survey, though not for the purpose of a healthy life.

The sports industry group PHIT America put out a press release on the PAC report and noted the increased activity was due to growth of shooting sports.

PHIT America writes:

  • 46% of all the growth came from people using firearms — shooting (sport clays), shooting (trap/skeet), hunting (hand gun), and target shooting (handgun)
  • Four of the top eight growth activities for 1+ time participants were with people using firearms

Forbes magazine explains: “Yes, the Second Amendment is making its way toward becoming the Great American Pastime, especially as baseball was among 17 other sports — including football and basketball — out of 24 tracked that have seen youth participation drop over the last five years.”

The gun industry is putting money into shooting sports. The Washington Post writes that the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has given more than $1 million in grants since 2009 to start shooting programs. A couple that owns firearms accessories company MidwayUSA created the ­MidwayUSA Foundation, funding it with nearly $100 million to help youth and college programs.

Smart move. Collegiate shooting sports captains report a “surge” of new interest from students. Some students describe the activity as “relaxing” (it is!) and participants find their attitudes about guns changing.

“I had a poor view, a more negative view of people who like guns than I do now,” said Hope Lutwak, a freshman on MIT’s pistol team. “I didn’t understand why people enjoyed it. I just thought it was very violent.”

This probably isn’t what Michelle Obama had in mind with her “Let’s Move” campaign, but the report is good news on the Second Amendment front and for shooting sports.