NSSF Reports The Contribution of the Gun Industry to the Economy

2016 numbers - and it's a lot.

A young woman in shooting gear with hearing and eye protection prepares to shoot a round of sporting clays with an over-under break action shotgun.

The NSSF, or National Shooting Sports Foundation, studies the economic impact of guns. Not just gun ownership but hunting, sport shooting, employment in the industry, ammunition sales and manufacturing and all things gun-related.

The organization provides yearly reports about their studies and they just released numbers for 2016. The full impact statement, Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report 2017, is available from the NSSF’s website.

The report shows that there was a dramatic increase in the economic impact of gun ownership and jobs, from $49.3 billion in 2015 to $51.3 billion in 2016, with combined business and excise taxes topping $6.8 billion last year.

The report says that the industry counts 141,000 full-time employees with nearly 160,000 additional jobs in supplier and ancillary industries. Earlier numbers show a steep incline in the impact of the gun industry over the years: $19.1 billion in 2008 to $51.3 billion in 2016 — a 168 percent increase.

Other statistics included in the NSSF’s report:

  • The number of FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background checks increased from under nine million in 2005 to more than 27 million by 2016.
  • The number of National Firearms Act (NFA) firearms processed in applications by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) increased from 147,484 in 2005 to 1,426,211 in 2015.
  • According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, the number of people with concealed carry permits has increased 215 percent since 2007, with 1.73 million new concealed handgun permits issued in 2015.