Credit Source: Guns.com, by Daniel Terrill
A skeet shooter slamming some skeeters. (Photo: NSSF)
The gun industry’s trade association released a new report showing sportsmen pump more than $93.5 billion into the U.S. economy in 2016, the biggest year on record for gun sales.
That figure is the result of some 53 million Americans buying their guns, fishing rods, outdoor gear and licenses along with travel expenses to pursue hunting, target shooting and sport fishing activities, according to a statement by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
That $93.5 billion breaks down $72 billion in salaries and wages covering some 1.6 million jobs. It also generated nearly $20 billion in local, state and federal taxes, which, the NSSF adds, contributes to conservation efforts and outdoor education programs. And, when factoring in multiplier effects, economic activity bumps up to $220 billion.
“With plenty of great land and waters to hunt and fish on, and thousands of shooting ranges to visit, people in every state are enjoying these pastimes. Their spending has profound, positive effects on many segments of the American economy,” said Jim Curcuruto, NSSF’s director of research and market development.
Activity by the numbers, the NSSF said hunters and shooters spent nearly 600 million days at the range; 35.8 million people 16 years old and older went fishing; 16.5 percent of the U.S. population sport fishes, hunts or target shoots.
“While time spent outside may come across as something to do after the real work day is done, in reality, hunting, fishing and target shooting is a critical industry, generating jobs and income for thousands of communities across the country,” said Rob Southwick, of research group Southwick Associates.
Southwick added that if sportsmen activities were a corporation, “it would rank #25 on the Fortune 500, ahead of Microsoft.”
The year 2016 was recorded as the biggest on record for gun sales, generating some 15.6 million transaction. Other researchers estimate that gun and ammo sales generated $17 billion in revenue and supported more than 50,700 jobs.