There are many great reasons to support private firearm ownership—not the least of which is the fact that the Second Amendment guarantees our God-given right to keep and bear arms. That’s reason enough to never back down in the battle against those who would diminish our rights.
But it’s likely that most gun-ban advocates—and even some people on our side of the debate—don’t realize the important impact gun and ammo sales have on the American economy.
According to a recent report published by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the total economic impact of the firearms and ammunition industry in the United States increased from $19.1 billion in 2008 to a whopping $42.9 billion in 2014. That’s a 125-percent increase.
Also, according to NSSF, the number of full-time-equivalent jobs in the firearm and ammo industry in the U.S. rose from about 166,000 in 2008 to more than 263,000 in 2014—a 58-percent jump.
Such dynamic growth is nearly unbelievable, given the stagnant economy much of the country has faced over the past several years. A deeper look at the nuts and bolts of the NSSF report yields even more impressive findings.
The industry has been a standout when compared to other American industries during the same time period, increasing its direct workforce by 78 percent, and adding jobs that pay an average of more than $52,000 in wages and benefits.
Even less visible, but no less important, is the positive impact increased firearm sales has on our ability to manage wildlife populations.
“Wildlife conservation is the real winner here, as we increased federal tax payments by 108 percent, Pittman-Robertson excise taxes that support wildlife conservation by 145 percent and state business taxes by 106 percent,” noted Stephen L. Sanetti, NSSF president and chief executive officer.
So what’s the downside? If you were to ask former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg or others bent on curtailing our right to keep and bear arms, they’d likely tell you that the economic boom resulted from increased gun sales. And, according to them, more guns in “civilian” hands equal more crime.
Unfortunately for them—and fortunately for our country—just the opposite is true. As gun sales have boomed over the past few years, violent crime has continued to drop to record lows, according to the FBI.
Truth is, there is no downside to a bustling firearm and ammunition industry providing quality jobs for Americans and giving shooters and hunters the constitutionally protected products they want and need.