It’s that family tradition of hunting that introduces most people to the sport. And it’s what keeps them coming back.
But in the past few years, the number of people hunting has continued its decade-long decline in South Carolina. As the number of hunters has declined so have sales of shotguns and rifles in the state.
Earlier I posted that South Carolina, like many states, just set a new conceal carry permit record. Something else noted in that story, though, is that the sales of both shotguns and rifles are declining. Last year saw a 9% decline in the number of hunting licenses issued in the state since 1999. Not huge, but it’s a significant number. Background checks for rifles and shotguns in South Carolina have dropped by 18% over the same period. Though transactions between individuals for these guns won’t show up in those numbers, transactions between individuals will be used guns, meaning that the sales of new long guns are down.
It would be interesting to see if rifle sales saw an increase in 2009 due to the great AR Rush. Many of those buying new rifles are not buying them to hunt.