photo from the Wall Street Journal.

People across America are buying guns and getting concealed carry permits in numbers never seen before, and the growth among some groups of people who haven’t traditionally been gun owners has been even greater. It’s been widely reported that women are buying more and more firearms for self-defense, but there’s another group that’s arming themselves in record numbers, one that is often targeted by criminals: the elderly.

The National Rifle Association released new figures on gun ownership this week, and while it’s up across the board, a huge increase has been seen in gun ownership for people over the age of 65, according to this story from

The story says that in the past five years, the number of seniors who own a gun has quadrupled.

This story from the Wall Street Journal says that translates into 22,739 people over 65 taking basic firearm training courses from NRA-certified instructors in 2015.


From the research WSJ did for their article, gun dealers across the country agree that more seniors who are worried about crime and terrorism are showing up for lessons.

From the story:

“Many dealers and older people around the country said personal safety was the priority. Knowing how to shoot gives older people ‘a sense of security and safety,’ said Rex Gore, owner of Black Wing Shooting Center in Delaware, Ohio, who has had students as old as 95. ‘It’s a great equalizer in this crazy world we live in.’”

“Dave Campbell, 62, who was an editor for an NRA publication before retiring to a rural home near Powell, Wyo., said he got started teaching the elderly about guns because an older woman at his church asked him for lessons. The stress is on safety, Mr. Campbell said, and he keeps expectations in check: ‘You’re not going to turn these people into SEAL team operators.’”

“Rising demand from seniors shows that ‘life has changed. Law enforcement agencies can’t protect everyone,’ said Mr. Duncan of Duncan’s Outdoor Shop. He said seniors also show up because they’re looking for hobbies; target shooting doesn’t require as much mobility as golf or tennis.”

For the full story from the Wall Street Journal, go here.