Booming Firearm Sales Trigger Gun Industry Job Growth

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As gun sales in the United States continue to hit new highs, the industry touts its contribution to the economy.

We called 2015 the “Year of the Gun” in the United States, as firearm sales rose to record-breaking levels. The surge in gun sales also helped create nearly 25,000 jobs in the United States in 2015.

According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, that’s a near 10 percent hike in the number of gun industry jobs — which include manufacturing and retail positions for guns, ammo and other related supplies — as compared with the previous year. The NSSF said gun jobs have increased by a whopping 73 percent since 2008.

“The economic growth America’s firearms and ammunition industry has experienced over the years has been nothing short of remarkable,” said the NSSF in its recently released Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report.

The NSSF estimates that the gun industry’s “economic impact,” which includes revenue, wages, taxes and benefits paid to industry workers, totaled $49.3 billion in 2015.

The FBI, which conducts firearm background checks, was so overwhelmed by the number of background checks needed for potential new gun purchases in late 2015 that in a frantic effort to keep up with demand, it was forced to temporarily divert staff from other jobs to perform background checks instead. It also canceled annual leave for some 400 background check employees because the agency was so far behind.

The FBI performed a record-breaking 23.1 million firearm background checks in 2015. The previous record (21 million) was set in 2013. Although a background check doesn’t necessarily indicate that a firearm is sold, the checks are suggestive of gun sales volume.

According to CNN Money, gun background checks in the first quarter of 2016 were up roughly 36 percent compared with the first quarter of 2015, putting 2016 on track to break last year’s record.

Are you surprised to see how many gun industry jobs were created last year to keep up with Americans’ demand for guns? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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