The number of firearms manufactured in the U.S. for sale to American customers hit an all-time high in 2012, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (BATFE) new Firearms Manufacturers and Export Report. American firearm manufacturers produced roughly 8.3 million firearms for sale in the U.S., a new record, up 33 percent from the 6.2 million produced for American customers in 2011.
The report shows not only that Americans valued firearms in 2012 more than ever before, but also that they particularly valued the kinds of firearms that gun control supporters have tried the hardest to get banned--handguns and semi-automatic rifles.
Production of handguns rose 32 percent to four million in 2012, as compared to 2011, including a 36 percent increase in pistols and an 18 percent increase in revolvers. Production of the AR-15, the most popular rifle in America, more than doubled in 2012, to over 825,000, not counting the large numbers made by Remington, Bushmaster and Sturm, Ruger. Total rifle production rose 38 percent, to three million, while shotguns rose 18 percent to 900,000.
We’ve been hearing for some time from those who want to ban guns that Americans aren’t interested in them anymore; that firearm ownership is on the decline. Like their fanciful notions that gun crime is somehow “exploding” or that concealed carry licensees are ticking time bombs, the numbers simply don’t back up their claims.
The anti-gunners are going to need all the “new math” they can muster, because the 2012 report contains figures for only two months of the surge in firearm purchases that began with President Obama’s reelection. Meanwhile, the FBI’s NICS figures indicate that Americans bought even more firearms in 2013 than they did in 2012.
For those who support the Second Amendment and American manufacturing, these figures provide cause for celebration. For those still seeking to ban private possession of firearms, they may want to skip the champagne and head straight for the aspirin.