America’s Gun Economy, By the Numbers

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The shooting in Newtown, Conn., that killed six adults and 20 children on Friday has once again refocused the nation’s attention on guns and gun control. Below are numbers to give some sense of the size and scope of the gun industry in America, the federal government’s involvement in regulating that industry, and the political and economic factors that are likely to drive the debate in the weeks and months ahead.

The Gun Economy
47% Percentage of Americans who say they have a gun in their home or elsewhere on their property, according to Gallup, the highest reported number in two decades

$6 billion Estimated revenue generated by the gun and ammunition industry in the U.S., according to an analysis by business research firm Hoovers

310 million Estimated number of firearms in the U.S., according to the federal government, which includes 114 million handguns, 110 million rifles, and 86 million shotguns

209,750 Number of jobs related to the firearm industry in 2012, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which estimates that $9.8 billion in annual wages are earned annually

30% Percentage increase in employment in the industry between 2008 and 2011, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation

131,806 Number of federally licensed firearms and ammunition dealers in the U.S., about four times as many the number of grocery stores, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

5,459,240 Number of new firearms manufactured in the U.S. in 2011, 95% of which are sold domestically, according to the ATF

3,252,404 Number of firearms imported into the U.S. (529,056 shotguns, 998,072 rifles, and 1,725,276 handguns) in 2010, according to the ATF

846,619 Number of firearms imported into the U.S. in 2011 from Brazil, the leading gun importer to the U.S., according to the ATF

$29,818,880 Market value lost by gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson after its stock price decreased by 5.2% on Monday, December 17, amid what the Los Angeles Times called “a surge in discussion about gun control” after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

$1,197 to $1,391 Suggested retail price for the Bushmaster .223 caliber M4 carbine, the rifle used by Adam Lanza in the Newtown school shooting, according to Reuters

Background Checks
16,808,538 Number of background checks on firearm purchasers conducted by the FBI this year through November, an all-time record

78,211 Number of firearm purchase denials by the FBI in 2011, about 0.48% of all attempted purchases

899,099 Number of firearm purchases that have been denied by the FBI between November 30, 1998 (when the FBI began processing background checks) and December 31, 2011. Of those, 7,879 were denied because of issues relating to the would-be purchaser’s mental health

62% Percentage of private gun sellers who agreed to sell a firearm to a buyer who couldn’t pass a background check, according to an undercover investigation by New York City public officials

154,873 Number of point-of-sale background checks conducted by the FBI on Black Friday this year, the most ever and a 20% increase from Black Friday 2011

2,006,919 Number of background checks performed in November, according to the FBI, an all-time record

Politics
$5.1 billion Estimated federal and state taxes (business and excise) generated by the industry in 2012, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation

$136 million Revenue for firearm manufacturer Smith & Wesson in the second quarter, which increased by 48% (from $92 million) from the previous quarter; profits at Smith & Wesson have risen by 140% since President Barack Obama’s election in 2008, according to Forbes, a trend that’s been widely interpreted as anticipation of possible gun control legislation from the White House.

17-to-1 Ratio of gun-rights lobbyist spending to gun control lobbyist spending in 2011, according to opensecrets.org and an analysis by Republic Report. Gun rights groups spent $4,212,996; gun control groups spent $240,000.

$14 million Amount of money the National Rifle Association spent during the 2012 election in an attempt to defeat President Obama, according to The New York Times

47,856 Number of people who have been killed in the U.S. by firearms between 2006 and 2010, according to the FBI

50 comments
Samuel-Reich
Samuel-Reich

We should limit violence as a positive trait in our culture.   Fictional violence should be treated as child pornography.   WE need know of real violence to deal with it and prepare for the possibility of it.   But why bombard children and the stupid with fictional violence as well.

Samuel-Reich
Samuel-Reich

Guns are useless without practice I go for less than an hour a month and use 50 round each time.  I never had to use the gun. Almost bullets are used up in practice.

Guns are gotten by propel who should not have them by theft or having people buy the guns for them or sell them it without the FBI pre-sale background check.   Things to be done is limit the number of guns one can own and require proof they have been used (gun range etc.) at lest once a year.   That would be less guns to steal.   Have mandatory jail time for people buying or giving guns or loaning to others including your children.   The FBI has only a list of felons to check all other questions cannot be checked unless the FBI has a registry that includes all persons that have mental problem that often leads to violence, a history of  criminal violence, DUIs (if they drive drunk they may shoot drunk).


ThinkingWoman
ThinkingWoman

Is this news? American press went on and on about "guns in the hand of young people, the mentally ill, the psychologically unstable and criminals" for days, weeks and months after the Columbine shooting. These kinds of incidents also keeps many talking heads employed, important, pontificating and making money for their "news business". Find out how much money these news businesses make in "breaking news, news about violence, chaos, crisis, disasters..."? Billions of dollars!

The question is nobody wants to do anything about it...not even talking heads, pontificating heads and preachy heads in the media. Everybody thought something will be done when Columbine occurred. Then Virginia occurred...more talk and nothing. Then shooting at an immigration center...nothing. Then shooting at another university, a mall and movie theater...nothing. Even when a congresswoman was shot in full public view nothing happened.

Give it a break talking heads. Gun control and complete ban if possible is necessary...but talking heads are not achieving it. It is the people and their elected representatives. Give them the credit...and for putting up with the opposition that wants more guns in the society. Find out how many people in the press have guns, security guards and go hunting for sport. These are the hypocrites.

harpermanning
harpermanning

@RickAnderson @TIMEBusiness everyone should be given a semi-automatic, then we can do away with police and court. Let the gun rule.

Ronnie_Matrix
Ronnie_Matrix

@TIME @TIMEBusiness My concern is the number of private gun dealers selling guns to people who failed a background check, big issue here

Ronnie_Matrix
Ronnie_Matrix

@TIME @TIMEBusiness It's clear that America's violent gun culture is being fueled by financial motives. Manufacturers are getting richer

DMH
DMH

The number of fire arms dealers (131,806)  compared to number of grocery stores (1/4 as many) is totally inaccurate.  It's like comparing the number of vegetable produce distributors who sell vegetables to Safeway, HEB , Albertsons or other grocery stores.  A fire arms dealer can be an individual or a retail store if they are licensed by the FBI and US government.  Just another example of someone spouting statistics in the hopes of making a point without really knowing what the statistics mean.  I support this persons right to make a point.  I just wish people like this knew what they were talking about.

drcamartinez
drcamartinez

@TIME it is shocking the feature indeed something must be done by US society as a whole damage by the gun policy is now indoors and overseas

AdamSmith1
AdamSmith1

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jcw14all
jcw14all

@TIME @timebusiness The Constitution of the USA is worth fighting for!

Sinead302
Sinead302

@RobertMunnelly Enjoy your early night? =P

vs_trader
vs_trader

@GargAmit100 @time Gun lobby funded by industry which is funded by people. Anti Gun has no industry to fund them. Gun are new tax on people.

spot60spot
spot60spot

@TIME It shouldn't be about money but what is best for the people #lostitsway

drcamartinez
drcamartinez

@TIME it is shocking the ratio indeed something must be done by US society as a whole damage of the gun policy is now inside and overseas

MinDSpeakA
MinDSpeakA

@TIME @TIMEBusiness Not #forgetting that most #gun #owners own #more than 1 gun, #some own #several & there is no need they are not @ #War.

LivingInTheWow
LivingInTheWow

@TIME @TIMEBusiness Follow the $$$$.... Most mundane rule of American Status Quo...

daustralala
daustralala

@kelakuan oh ini bukan hanya dari penembakan massal ya.

leksa
leksa

@kelakuan kalo tentaranya yg mati di luar negeri setahun berapa? **menarik ki jd inpohgrapik

Putrihapsariwi
Putrihapsariwi

@kijulbilbo paaah anot sendirian di rmh tepon paah :'(

zeus1926
zeus1926

@TIME @TIMEBusiness selling inside and outside country. the guns that built america. #gangsofnewyork #U2

ks1234
ks1234

The following is from the Columbia Missorian

QUOTE

But Republican state Rep. Stanley Cox said Monday that it also might be time to allow trained teachers, administrators or volunteer security officers to carry concealed guns on school premises.

"I think there is a correlation between these horrible acts of violence and the gun-free zones that have come about by the law," said Cox, a Sedalia attorney who is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

UNQUOTE

michael.donnelly.jr
michael.donnelly.jr

Who checked this article ?

Hoovers said $6 billion in revenue ? that means all money taken in at the register which includes taxes.  Yet $5.1 billion paid in taxes.  Ok that leaves $900 in revenue on 8.7 million guns sold (and ammo) the guns probably cost at least $10 to make so 87 million plus the cost of the ammo maybe $100 million ?  That leaves $800 million in revenue after cost of goods sold.  Article says 209,000 employed.  Ok that works out to a full year salary of $4,000  per person.    Come on.

vioacuna669
vioacuna669

@tetsu va más aya q eso también,en su Bill of Rights esta la libertad primero que nada,si implementan la ley que regularice afecta eso!

hidefullofHoney
hidefullofHoney

We have serious problems with HEALTHCARE OPTIONS for THE  MENTALLY DISABLED in AMERICA. Many FAMILIES in this country have fear of possible  violent behavior from a sick family members.Acquiring proper long-term healthcare is NOT a COST EFFECTIVE option for Many HOUSEHOLDS dealing with this struggle.The argument should not be about GUN CONTROL,we should be engaged  in action  2 HELP these troubled SOULS,rather than blame the TRAGIC OUTCOME, from a lack of  mental healthcare on the tools used in their VIOLENT behavior.The behavior needs 2 be address not the actions of the behavior.

judahoudshoorn
judahoudshoorn

@BraedenPrice astounding! thanks for sending my way

frankwall1965
frankwall1965

Nearly 48,000 people killed by firearms between 2006 and 2010? Absolutely shocking. Really, if events like this don't stir the people in to action, nothing will. The argument is going to be tight though, statistics are showing that 47% of Americans are in favour of gun control whereas 46% want to protect the right to own guns: http://www.statista.com/statistics/237372/survey-on-the-importance-of-gun-control-and-gun-ownership-in-the-us/. If people feel they can't live without an assault rifle in 21st century America, something in seriously wrong.

LuisT.Puig
LuisT.Puig

How about a debate about the REAL source of the tragedy here…The more and more troubled kids (and later on adults), the broken families (example: in this school shooting the gunman was from a divorce house hold), the less and less homes with a father around, the less and less class, discipline and manners been taught to kids now a days, the more and more drugged out kids with ALL kids of mind altering drugs like crystal meth, even in the "nice suburbs"... the destruction of the American society by an erroneous liberal mentality of "do whatever you want", that all it does is cause the crumbling of nations......it has happened before! Rome, the Byzantines, etc, all weakened and crumbled by the immorality of their own citizens!!!The murder weapons could have been Japanese Sword like the ones I have bought in a MALL!!!!The weapons are not the problem, the sick and demented children our sick society is creating is the problem!!!!

No sean estupidos! ...and fix this society before it is too late!

A few basic things to fix this mess up society:

1. Bring Class back to the society, yes, like Manners, which we have lost and are crucial for a peaceful and more secure society.2. Kick out of or homes the irresponsible liberalism mentality of "do whatever you want" (it does NOT work) Life is about two things: Responsibility FIRST, and THEN Opportunity, that is it!3. No more mind altering drugs, you don't need a drug to deal with life, grow a spine, and tackle head on your problems.4. Before you have a child..., before you even think about marrying some one..., before you even think about screwing someone..., get to know them!!! to see if the two of you are compatible!THEN, first date them to see if you can get along and are compatible... this must be done for over two years (to get over the two year "infatuation" mark, when your new girl friend and or boyfriend can do not wrong in your eyes, and you are so blinded by the sex you do not see any flaws)THEN marry them, and stay just the two of you again for a while to see if the marriage will work out.THEN after you are sure the marriage is good, then have the kids!This way, if you have made a mistake (picking the wrong person) a child will NOT pay for your mistake!

Just s few basic rules... we NEED to get back to basics, or we are ALL in deep trouble as a society!

FerdBerfel1
FerdBerfel1

@Ronnie_Matrix If these private gun dealers have an FFL, then they're breaking the law. Big issue here? Numbers and sources please, otherwise STFU!

FerdBerfel1
FerdBerfel1

@Ronnie_Matrix Hey Ronnie - I said STFU!

GargAmit100
GargAmit100

@vs_trader Interesting thought. And hence lobbying may not be useful in some cases

MichaelJB22
MichaelJB22

@MinDSpeakA there's always at war!! They're all a paranoid bunch of cretins!!

kelakuan
kelakuan

@devilpenakut angka itu membuat kita jd negara no 6 dlm hal angka korban tewas akibat kecelakaan lalu lintas http://t.co/yj8PscuM

kelakuan
kelakuan

@daustralala bukan mas, itu keknya general aja. tewas akibat senjata api.

dladd
dladd

Look at the source provided by the article.
http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10shrtbl08.xls

 First note the continuous  decline in firearm murders from 2006 and 2010. This is happening as the article mentions record sales and growth in recent years. Secondly, notice the amount of murders each year from ALL rifles. That includes rifles that would not be covered in any proposed Assault Weapons legislation. Are "assault rifles"(you're using the wrong term as assault rifles were banned in 1986) even the problem?

MinDSpeakA
MinDSpeakA

@MichaelJB22 They are @ war with #themselves, who then attack the #vulnerable. #Regards.....

devilpenakut
devilpenakut

@kelakuan Menakutkan. Dan tidak ada pencegahan berarti dr pemerintah.