The latest figures from the U.S. International Trade Commission show a big jump when comparing February 2021 with the same month in 2020.

The data, compiled and released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, illustrate what a difference a year makes when it comes to the import of commercial sporting arms and ammunition

Handguns doubled from pre-COVID February 2020 figures of 204,600 units to the more recent 434,204 seen in February 2021, a bump of 112.2 percent. 

NSSF Trade Report
The number of imported handguns for February 2021 represents a record when stacked against the same month for the past several years. (Chart: NSSF)

Meanwhile, rifles were up 71.7 percent from 36,765 to 63,136 units. 

When it comes to rifle and handgun cartridges, there was a 27.1 percent growth from 167.7 million to 213.1 million units. Shotgun shells likewise saw a 63.6 percent jump from 2020 to 2021, rising to 16.9 million units as compared to last year’s 10.3 million. 

Speaking of shotguns, the largest increase noted is in that category of firearm, with 47,468 units imported in February 2020 versus 235,628 this year, a 396.4 percent increase. 

NSSF Trade Report
The number of imported rifles, for the month of February 2021, are at levels not seen since 2015 during the Obama administration, while the number of shotguns is at record highs for the decade. (Chart: NSSF)

The American shotgun market is very diverse when it comes to imported guns, including not only traditional designs from the likes of Benelli, Franchi, Tristar, and Stoeger but also a whole new crop of AR12/AK12 format semi-autos from the likes of Armscor, Dickinson, Garaysar, Girsan, Hatsan, Landor and Panzer, among others. 

Panzer BP12
The Panzer BP12, a Turkish-made semi-auto bullpup 12 gauge that uses detachable box mags for a fast load/reload process, is representative of the new breed of shotguns that have been coming to American in recent months. (Photo:


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