Multiple sources have written about how women are driving new gun sales and now there is another segment of the population that has apparently joined women at the range. The NRA told the WSJ that 22,739 people over 65 took basic firearm training courses from NRA-certified instructors in 2015. NRA indicated that is four times the number five years earlier and that growth in that age category was much faster than the overall growth rate.
As we have heard with women, personal security is a driving force behind senior citizens wanting to learn how to properly use a firearm:
Stephen Eyler, 71, who owns a printing shop in Oklahoma City, began thinking about buying a pistol after two incidents in which he and his wife, Shirley, felt threatened by strangers. The Eylers worried about random shootings, people with mental problems and “radicals,” Mr. Eyler said: “You see it on the news almost every day.”
In early March, after researching guns on the Internet, he bought two Glock semiautomatic pistols, one for himself and a smaller model for his wife, at H&H Shooting Sports in Oklahoma City. The couple signed up for lessons at H&H and plan to get concealed-carry permits so they can stow the pistols in their car’s glove compartment.While personal security may be the main reason, one gun shop owner the reporter spoke with said He said seniors also show up because they’re looking for hobbies because target shooting doesn’t require as much mobility as golf or tennis.
Contrast the Wall Street Journal article that talks about another segment of the population adding to the ranks of gun owners with this propaganda piece from Bloomberg's mouthpiece The Trace that says the idea that more women are becoming gun owners is a myth. While the Journal actually went out and talked to firearm retailers and shooting ranges to gather information for their article, The Trace relied on a survey that regularly undercounts gun owners because of the method used to collect the information.
Check out the entire WSJ article. It is a good read.