Fear & Loading: The Firearm Industry's $49.3 Billion Impact

by
posted on April 18, 2016
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Yes, tax day is painful, but before you complain about surviving the next six months on chicken-flavored ramen, count your blessings your bill wasn’t $6.2 billion. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s freshly released “Firearm and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report 2016”, that’s how much the firearm industry and employees paid in federal and state taxes for the year 2015.

The industry directly employs 132,584 at an average annual salary of $50,180, and its activity generates an additional 155,402 jobs. That’s a total of 287,986 who aren’t in unemployment or welfare lines. I’m not expecting those who would strip law-abiding citizens of their Second Amendment rights to grasp the magnitude of those figures—much less be capable of reading them, anyway—so let’s move on to some interesting tidbits.

States with the most jobs directly related to the firearm industry are:
Texas—14,700
California—14,130
Florida—9,447
Pennsylvania—8,044
Ohio—7,811

States with the fastest growth in gun-related jobs:
Wyoming
Alaska
Maine
North Dakota
Missouri

While the rest of the economy stalled to a zika-breeding stagnation, the gun industry has created 21,000 new jobs in the past two years and grown from an economic impact of $19.1 billion in 2008 to $49.3 billion in 2015—an increase of 158 percent.

So if one of your anti-gun friends or coworkers complains today about their IRS bill and the freeloaders riding the government gravy train, bring up these figures, explain the extra excise taxes firearm owners willingly pay throughout the year and the people employed. The odds are good they won’t let the facts get in the way of their opinion, but today, of all days, it may ring true differently—through their pocketbook. 

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