Dave Hardy (himself a former FWS attorney) comments at Of Arms and the Law:
This is a sharp reversal or earlier trends downward. This matches my hypothesis that we're seeing a broad cultural turnaround. Americans have historically liked guns, shooting, and hunting. From the 1960s onward, that was reduced. Now (at last, after fifty years) it's returning to the norm.In a news release, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation notes,
The just-released 2011 National Survey of Hunting, Fishing, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation shows 13.7 million people, or 6 percent of the U.S. population age 16 and older, went hunting last year. That marks a 9 percent increase over 2006, reversing a previous downward trend.Is this trend a response to hard times, as one of Hardy's commenters suggests? Or people becoming gun owners for self-defense purposes and then moving from target-shooting to hunting?