Despite an overall sluggish national economy in which some sectors have struggled with layoffs and unemployment in recent years, the firearms and ammunition industry has exhibited consistent vitality, according to a new report released this week by the industry's primary trade association. The total economic impact of the firearms and ammunition industry in the U.S. increased from $19.1 billion in 2008 to $37.7 billion in 2013, reflecting a 97 percent increase,according to the report released April 2 by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). Further, the total number of full-time equivalent jobs rose from more than 166,000 to more than 245,000, a 48 percent increase in that five-year period.
U.S. companies that manufacture, distribute and sell firearms, ammunition and hunting equipment employ as many as 111,895 people and generate an additional 133,850 jobs in supplier and ancillary industries. These include jobs in companies supplying goods and services to manufacturers, distributors and retailers, as well as those that depend on sales to workers in the firearm and ammunition industries. The dramatic growth since 2008 is generally attributed to an unprecedented number of Americans choosing to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear arms, as well as the passage of expanded concealed-carry laws in several states.
"We have seen dramatic, unprecedented-during-peacetime growth in the firearms and ammunition industry that is the direct result of consumer demand for our products in the last five years," said Stephen L. Sanetti, NSSF president and CEO. "While our nation's overall economic recovery has been slow since 2008, our industry has been a true bright spot, increasing our direct workforce by nearly half, adding jobs that pay an average of more than $47,700 in wages and benefits."
Also noted in "The Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report: 2013"are the significant federal excise taxes paid by member companies to federal and state governments on the products it sells—a primary source of wildlife, conservation and hunter-safety program funding in the country. It also provides a state by state breakdown of job numbers, wages and output covering direct, supplier and induced employment, as well as federal excise taxes paid.