Despite all the sensationalism in reportage of the recent tragic incident, the reality is that the idea of gun tourism is only appealing to a small portion of Americans, and fewer still act on it.
Gun tourism, where firing ranges serve as tourist attractions for out-of-state and international visitors, has come under intense spotlight over the last two weeks following a tragic incident involving the death of an Arizona firearms instructor by a 9-year-old girl who was firing a fully automatic Uzi.
Gun tourism has flourished in Nevada in recent years, as dozens of ranges have cropped up in Las Vegas and other gun-friendly states, that offer bullet-riddled bachelor parties and literal shotgun weddings, while tourists from Japan flock to ranges in Waikiki, Hawaii, among others. Tourists from Australia, Europe or Asia, where civilians are barred from many types of guns, long to indulge in the quintessential American right to bear arms, as our earlier story outlined.
But while this quiet boom in gun tourism is happening, what do Americans think? More crucially, do they approve of gun tourism? For an overwhelming majority of them, gun tourism doesn’t hold any appeal, according to a new Skift survey on U.S. adults.
The question we asked U.S. respondents over the last few days using Google Consumer Surveys was: Does the idea of Gun Tourism — going to gun ranges while on vacation somewhere — appeal to you?
» The topline result: For 81 percent of adult Americans, the idea of going to gun ranges on their vacation has no appeal to them, while a small 13.5 percent of them would like to try it out, and a smaller 5.2 percent Americans say they have done that on their vacations.
Important: This survey — not served to Skift users — was administered to about 750 of U.S. internet population from Sep 2-Sep 4, through Google Consumer Surveys. The methodology is explained here. See previous Skift Surveys here.
» Meanwhile, more American men than women want to indulge in gun tourism, as it to be expected, and more women don’t like the idea of gun tourism.
» On the age spectrum, the older the Americans, the more they don’t like the idea of gun tourism. It is the young who like the idea or have been to such ranges for shooting these high powered guns.
» More Americans living in U.S. West are open to the idea of gun tourism than anywhere else in U.S., and more in the U.S. Northeast have indulged in the pastime.
» It is rural America where the idea of gun tourism appeals more than others and Urban America is most opposed to it, but in general the non-appeal is relatively equal across the board.
» And this should be somewhat of a relief to those Americans aghast that parents are taking their kids to these gun ranges: 100 percent of American parents don’t like the idea of gun tourism.
Photo credit: Americans aren't in love with the idea of gun tourism. Hayden Beaumont / Flickr