When we purchase the guns, gear, licenses and tags for our various outdoor activities, rarely do we contemplate their significance to our overall economy. We are focused on the fun, excitement and adventure that lie ahead as we look to exercise our Second Amendment rights. Rarely do we consciously reflect on how broadly our dollars extend.
Thank goodness the National Shooting Sports Foundation is keeping a close eye on those numbers with its annual “Economic Impact Report,” which reports on the firearm and ammunition industry’s contributions to the U.S. economy. The news gets better each year, as the just-released 2022 report shows an increase from $19.1 billion in 2008 to $70.52 billion in 2021, a 269 percent increase, while the total number of full-time equivalent jobs rose from approximately 166,000 to over 375,819, a 126 percent increase in that period.
The report shows that on a year-over-year basis, the industry’s economic impact rose from $63.5 billion in 2020, to $70.52 billion. Total jobs increased by over 33,000 in the same period, from 342,330 to 375,819. The firearm industry has broader impacts throughout the economy. It supports and generates business for firms seemingly unrelated to firearms, at a time when every job in America counts. These are real people, with real jobs, working in industries as varied as banking, retail, accounting, metal working and printing among others.
The firearm and ammunition industry paid over $7.85 billion in business taxes, including property, income and sales-based levies. An additional $1.1 billion was paid in federal excise taxes, which directly contributes to wildlife conservation.
“The economic contributions of our industry are indisputably contributing to every state and every community. This is the hallmark of the hard-working men and women who prove that the American firearm and ammunition industry is strong,” said Joe Bartozzi, NSSF president and CEO.
He added that the growth of firearm and ammunition manufacturing year-after-year shows that this industry continues to meet the American demand for lawful firearm ownership. “This industry produces the highest quality firearms and ammunition, and has been proud to welcome over 5.4 million first-time gun buyers in 2021 alone,” he said. “These new gun owners are increasingly representative of Americans from all walks of life, including more women and more minority communities that have decided to exercise their right to keep and bear arms and to safely enjoy the recreational shooting sports. This growth equals more jobs that add to our local economies, averaging $56,900 in wages and benefits. Since 2008, federal tax payments increased by 206 percent, Pittman-Robertson excise taxes that support wildlife conservation by 214 percent and state business taxes by 151 percent.”
The annual Firearm and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report 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. Below are some of the findings, but you can access the full report here.
Tables courtesy NSSF 2022 Economic Impact Report