States and localities that are giving in to post-Parkland, Fla., calls for more gun control might want to take a breath and consider the implications of trying to outlaw semi-automatic rifles or raise the minimum buying age. In the past decade, the economic impact of the firearm industry has more than doubled, growing to $51.4 billion in 2017, from $19.1 billion in 2008, according to a study from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
The industry has almost doubled its workforce, employing 310,000 full-time workers in 2017, up from $166,000 in 2008. All told, the industry’s growth translates into $6.8 billion in business taxes at the state and federal levels, and $717 million in excise taxes.
“Our industry is proud to be one of the truly bright spots in our economy as an unprecedented number of Americans have chosen to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear arms and to safely enjoy the shooting sports,” Stephen L. Sanetti, president and CEO of the NSSF, said in a press release. NSSF is an industry trade group.
The 2016 to 2017 timeframe was somewhat stagnant, as gun makers struggled with coming off some of their peak production years. But even against the backdrop of individual struggles (such as Remington), manufacturers and ancillary companies added 7,000 names to their employment rolls in 2017.
The company breaks down the impact by state, and only Delaware and Washington, D.C., saw less than $10 million in economic impact. Even traditional anti-gun states—like California, New York and Massachusetts—reap rewards from the industry their politicians hate so much.