The Gun Industry Is Booming

(Photo by CLARA WRIGHT/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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The United States gun business has boomed during the past 14 years, according to a new report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).

The economic impact of the firearm industry has surged by 269% since the 2008 financial crisis, the group reports, and the growth accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the industry generated $70.5 billion in economic activity and created 33,000 new jobs during a time much of the economy was struggling.

NSSF President and CEO Joe Bartozzi said there were 5.4 million new gun-buyers in 2021, according to The Reload. “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.”

The report found that economic impact from the industry, alongside demand for new guns and ammunition, flattened somewhat during the Trump administration but picked up beginning in 2019 and into the COVID-19 pandemic. The biggest economic output in dollars was measured in Texas, California and Florida, and per capita in New Hampshire, Wyoming and Idaho. Furthermore, the industry contributed more than $7.8 billion in federal and state business taxes in 2021, according to the report.

“The economic contributions of our industry are indisputably contributing to every state and every community,” Bartozzi said. “This growth equals more jobs that add to our local economies, averaging $56,900 in wages and benefits.” (RELATED: Blue State Citizens Are Buying Guns At A Record Pace)

A study designed by Harvard and Northeastern University researchers found that nearly half of first-time gun buyers in recent years were women. Black and Hispanic gun ownership has also surged substantially since 2019.