The gun industry’s economic impact crept upwards last year, despite a downturn in sales post-election.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation said Tuesday the industry added 10,000 new jobs in 2017, a 3 percent increase over 2016 — the biggest year ever for gun sales — and nearly double the total recorded a decade ago.
“Our industry is proud to be one of the truly bright spots in our economy as an unprecedented number of Americans have chosen to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear arms and to safely enjoy the shooting sports,” said Stephen L. Sanetti, NSSF President and CEO. “In response to that dynamic, we have increased our direct workforce by more than 7,000 in the past year alone, adding jobs that pay an average nearly $50,000 in wages and benefits.”
Sanetti said the industry more than doubled its state and federal tax payments over the last 1o years, including the Pittman-Robertson excise tax for wildlife conservation. In total, the industry’s economic impact rose from $51.3 billion to $51.4 billion in 2017. This, despite coming “off-peak production years,” the foundation said Tuesday.
New Hampshire reports the most jobs per capita across the industry, employing more than 2,600 direct professionals and nearly 1,300 suppliers. Both Sturm, Ruger and Company and Sig Sauer manufacture firearms in the state.
Meanwhile, job opportunities grew more in New Jersey last year than any other state in the country, according to the NSSF report, with more than 1,500 employed across the industry in 2017.