August is National Shooting Sports Month, and America’s firearm owners will find it a great time to spend a day at the range enjoying their favorite target-shooting sports with friends and family members. It’s also a time for millions of first-time gun owners to check out all the shooting sports have to offer.
Developed by NSSF, the firearms industry trade association, National Shooting Sports Month is marking its seventh year of celebrating the great American pastime of target shooting. Whether you enjoy shattering clay targets with a shotgun, hearing the clang of hitting steel plates with a handgun, or hitting a target 100 yards away with a rifle, the shooting sports have something for you. Target shooting is fun, safe, and welcoming to those who have never fired their first shots. More than 63 million adults and youth participate in target shooting sports.
Here are 10 ways to enjoy National Shooting Sports Month:
1. Mentoring/+ONE Movement
It helps to have a mentor show you the ropes when learning a new activity. NSSF’s +ONE Movement asks experienced shooters to guide newcomers and novices on how to safely handle firearms and develop their marksmanship skills. Experienced shooters can help secure the future of shooting sports by taking the +ONE pledge to introduce someone new to target shooting this August!
2. Win a Great Prize!
The #RangeChallenge offers an ongoing series of target-shooting challenges and incentives that promotes firearm safety, mentorship, training, and shooting sports awareness. Shooters can request an official #RangeChallenge target from a partnering range or download one from the website. Read the contest rules, shoot your target and enter to win one of 10 gift cards valued at $500.00 each. Learn more.
3. A Date at the Range
Make it a date! Ask your spouse, partner, boyfriend, or girlfriend to go target shooting with you. You’ll have a great time together. Women are the fastest growing group in target shooting, and more gear than ever has been designed for their fit and comfort. Don’t have someone to go with? Call the range and ask about their leagues and training classes.
4. Rediscover Shooting
Haven’t shot in a while? Dust off your shooting gear — always check to see if firearms are loaded when removing them from storage — and call an old shooting buddy or ask a family member to join you. Clay target sports such as skeet and sporting clays are perfect for socializing.
5. What to Expect at the Range
Safety orientation, range rules, range officers … there are things you need to know about if you haven’t spent much time at a target shooting range, or perhaps you need to refresh your memory. You can brush up on the rules, safety, and etiquette in the NSSA Rule Book and NSCA Rule Book.
#LetsGoShooting is the theme of National Shooting Sports Month. Share the hashtag and your experiences on your favorite social media networks and remind others to head out to the range for a day of fun and socializing. Discover the skill-building and fun other target shooters are having at the range by following the #LetsGoShooting feeds.
7. Cash in on Deals
Retailers and ranges will be offering specials during National Shooting Sports Month at thousands of events nationwide. Find a participating business near you to take advantage of these offers at ShootingSportsmonth.org.
8. Tune Up for Hunting Season
Many people are taking up hunting because they’re interested in harvesting their own healthful food. A trip to a firearm retailer or range can provide answers on how to get started hunting, such as enrolling in a hunter education course and practicing your shooting to be ready in time for the fall seasons. NSSF’s LetsGoHunting.org website has loads of information.
9. Practice Safe Firearm Handling and Storage
National Shooting Sports Month is a good time to enroll in a firearm training course. Need an instructor? You can find an NSSA Certified Instructor or an NSCA Certified Instructor for training. The shooting sports are safe. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Responsible gun owners safely handle their firearms and securely store them when not in use — at home, in vehicles, and at the range. Thanks to responsible gun owners and programs like NSSF’s Project ChildSafe, fatal firearms accidents are at historic low levels.
10. Celebrate Freedom and Tradition
In addition to passing on the great tradition of target shooting, you can educate others about the unique American freedoms that make firearm ownership and the shooting sports possible. See NSSF’s Proud to be a Firearms Owner pocket card and video and also learn about NSSF’s Gun Owners Care.
Remember, help make others aware of the great pastime of target shooting by sharing your experiences on social media and using the hashtag #LetsGoShooting and #RangeChallenge.