FAMILIES There was a tremendous increase in entire families who attended Shoot Like A Girl events eager to learn about firearm safety and use. We also interacted with families searching for a firearm for home protection; in some cases both the husband and wife were considering their first-time firearm purchase. Additionally, we saw more mothers and grandmothers attend events than in previous years. Christa Forrester, Shoot Like A Girl’s chief of staff noted, “Moms of all ages are recognizing their responsibility in the role of protecting their families. It’s exciting to see how determined they are to learn as much as they can.” Husbands were supportive of their wives learning about and owning a firearm so they could feel confident their wives would be protected. Dads brought their older daughters to Shoot Like A Girl events to encourage them to learn about firearm ownership, pepper “Assume the person who is least likely to purchase a gun will; focus on safety; and think of creative ways to empower new customers with confidence.” spray and safety awareness. For younger children, parents wanted them to learn about firearm safety and what to do if they ever come across a gun. EMPHASIS ON SAFETY I met with Larry Barnet from Larry’s Pistol & Pawn with locations in Madison and Huntsville, Ala., to see if the experiences at his range were matching ours, and to learn about his innovative concepts for safety education. Barnet confirmed retailers are experiencing the same trends: Increases in diverse demographics, the desire to learn firearm safety and the propellant of fear for personal security being the primary motivator. His store has initiated some very creative programs to meet the new demand. First, Larry’s had ammunition in stock. Barnet said he treats ammunition as a commodity, no different than soybeans. He was a supply sergeant in the Army, and goes by the mantra, “Get it when you can.” 48 Shooting Industry May 2021 Left: Growing diversity has been one of the most stark changes to impact the industry over the past year, presenting a golden opportunity to engage with entirely new customer groups. Above: Equipped with a state-of-the-art indoor range, Shoot Like A Girl instructors are able to give one-on-one lessons to guests.
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