The total number of NICS checks—an oft-cited relative barometer of firearm sales nationwide— remained strong in 2017, leading to new highs in terms of the industry’s economic impact. In fact, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s (NSSF) “Firearms and Ammunition Industry’s Economic Impact Report: 2018,” the total amount contributed to the economy by the firearm industry increased by $100 million over the past year.
Overall, “…in 2017 the firearms and ammunition industry was responsible for as much as $51.41 billion in total economic activity in the country,” the report reads. “The broader economic impact flows throughout the economy, generating business for firms seemingly unrelated to firearms. Real people, with real jobs, working in industries as varied as banking, retail, accounting, metal working, even in printing, all depend on the firearms and ammunition industry for their livelihood.”
Employment figures also grew. Jobs created by the industry increased by more than 9,000 in 2017 when compared to 2016. “Regardless of economic conditions across the country, our industry has grown and created about 91,000 new, well-paying jobs over the past five years,” according to the NSSF. Roughly 149,113 are directly employed in the field and their work keeps another 161,795 on the job providing a variety of services.
Tax revenue generated by the industry in 2017—including sales, income, property, etc. levies paid by employees—totaled $6.78 billion. The major portion of that figure is from Federal business taxes that came to $3.9 billion, but another $2.9 billion was collected by state agencies.
The top-10 states in number of people directly employed in the firearm industry were; Texas, California, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New York, Minnesota, Missouri and North Carolina, respectively. New Hampshire leads the way in jobs per capita and California claims top honors for total economic output. Texas firearm firms lead in Federal excise-tax payments.