As Americans continue to come to terms with the pandemic’s ripple effect on business, unemployment, and snags in the supply chain, one of the bright spots in the economic landscape is the state of the firearm and ammunition industry.
Each year, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) publishes a detailed report on the impact of the firearm and ammunition industry on the U.S. economy and jobs. In addition to examining the effect that companies that manufacture, distribute, and sell firearms, ammunition, and hunting equipment have had in the last year, the report looks at trends more generally.
According to the latest report, Firearm and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report 2023, the industry’s economic growth “in recent years has been nothing short of remarkable and has been driven by an unprecedented number of Americans choosing to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear arms. This includes an estimated 4.2 million new gun owners in 2022.”
Since 2008, the overall economic impact of the industry has increased by more than 320% ‒ from $19.1 billion (2008) to $80.7 billion last year. 2022 alone represented an increase of over $10 billion over the year before.
- in 2022, the firearm and ammunition industry was responsible for employing 172,697 people and generated an additional 220,999 jobs in supplier and ancillary industries;
- Pittman-Robertson excise tax contributions to the Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund exceeded $1.15 billion in 2022;
- in addition, the industry and industry employees paid over $7.48 billion in state and federal taxes in 2022, including property, income, and sales-based levies; and
- “over 4.2 million Americans from all walks of life, for the first time, discovered and exercised their right to lawful firearm owners and safely participate in the recreational shooting sports last year.”
The report’s state-by-state breakdown shows that these economic gains are by no means restricted to “pro-gun” jurisdictions and extend to every state. The economic impact of the gun industry in New York State, for instance, exceeded $3 billion ($3,187,992,000) last year. Likewise, California benefitted by an annual total output of just under six billion dollars ($5,992,739,100).
While anti-gun politicians and their gun-control allies attack the gun industry (here and here, for instance) as part of a campaign against firearm-related commerce in general, the indisputable fact remains that the industry’s continued strength relies on millions of law-abiding consumers – sport shooters, hunters, farmers and other everyday Americans – exercising their fundamental constitutional rights and investing in the Second Amendment.