U.S. Firearms Industry Continues to be Economic Bright Spot

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posted on April 29, 2016
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A report released earlier this month by the primary trade association representing firearms and ammunitions manufacturers indicates the total economic impact of the industry increased from $19.1 billion in 2008 to $49.3 billion in 2015—a 158 percent increase—while the total number of full-time equivalent jobs rose from approximately 166,000 to almost 288,000, reflecting a 73-percent increase. 

Further, the Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), indicates the U.S.-based firearms and ammo industry and its employees, pay more than $6.2 billion in federal and state taxes including property, income, and sales-based levies. 

Excise tax generated from the industry, which is allocated to states for a variety of purposes, including conservation, shooting range development, and hunting and shooter safety programs, reflects an additional $677 million. 

On a year-over-year basis, the industry’s economic impact rose from $43 billion in 2014 to $49.3 in 2015, a nearly 15-percent increase, while total jobs increased from approximately 263,000 to almost 288,000, a 9 percent increase in the same period. 

States with the most jobs directly connected with the firearm industry, in order, are: 

Texas: 14,700
California: 13,134
Florida: 9,447
Pennsylvania: 8,044
Ohio: 7,811
North Carolina: 7,468
Minnesota: 7,444
Missouri: 7,273
Illinois: 6,967
Michigan: 5,869 

States with the fastest growth in firearms and ammunition-related manufacturing jobs are Wyoming, Alaska, Maine, North Dakota, Missouri, Alabama, Kansas, Utah, Nebraska and Nevada. 

“Our industry is proud to be one of the truly bright spots in our economy as an unprecedented number of Americans have chosen to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear arms and to safely enjoy the shooting sports,” said Stephen L. Sanetti, NSSF president and chief executive officer. “In response to that dynamic, we have increased our direct workforce by about 21,000 in the last two years alone, adding jobs that pay an average of more than $50,000 in wages and benefits. In addition, since 2008 we increased federal tax payments by 144 percent, Pittman-Robertson excise taxes that support wildlife conservation by 92 percent and state business taxes by 96 percent.”

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