Guns are big business in the United States. As people continue to argue whether or not gun sales should be restricted here, one question remains unanswered: can our economy take the hit the abrupt loss of gun sales would cause?

Good or bad; right or wrong, the simple fact is that Americans love their guns — and we own a lot of them.  It has been estimated that between 250-310 million guns now reside in American homes. Of course, all of those guns had to be purchased at one point. Those purchases added quite a bit to our nation’s economy. Let’s look at the facts:

  • The American gun and manufacturing industry brings in about $13.5 billion in gun sales each year; making about $1.5 billion in profits alone.
  • Gun and ammunition stores rake in $3.1 billion in sales every year; making nearly $478 million in profits.
  • Nearly 11 million guns are manufactured in the U.S. every year. Most of them stay right here in the states since only about 4% of those made here are exported to other countries.
  • The overall economic impact of gun and ammo sales in the United States reached more than $42 billion in 2012 (the last year that formal numbers were released).

How the Economy Benefits From Gun Sales

In 2012 alone, the NSSF reported that 263,223 full-time jobs related to the firearm industry existed in the United States. That was up 63,000 jobs in just three years.  Considering the stagnate job growth reported during this same time period, the fact that jobs in the industry were added so quickly was good news for an economy that otherwise appeared bleak.

With more than $42 billion in sales, salaries and taxes at stake, it is no wonder that gun manufactures work so hard to ensure that Americans can continue to buy their products.  After all, the industry has helped to boost a sluggish economy in recent years.

But, the money made from the outright sale of guns is only the beginning of how the industry benefits our national economy. There is another statistic to consider: the cost of gun violence.  It was reported by Mother Jones that in 2012 fatal and non –fatal gun violence cost the United States about $230 billion dollars. What is even more astonishing is that these figures continue to rise as gun violence escalates throughout the nation. Accounting for more than 1.4% of our nation’s total gross domestic product (gdp), gun violence may hurt people, but it does seem to bolster the economy.

Would the Halt of Gun Sales Hurt Our Economy?

Gun critics want to restrict gun sales to help make our streets safer. Gun advocates work hard to counteract their critics by saying that it is every American’s right to own and use a gun.  What few have even considered is the economic impact a halt to gun sales would have on our nation’s financial outlook in coming years. An industry that brings in billions of dollars in direct sale and taxes, and which offers tens of thousands of people jobs every year, plus the amount spent counteracting the violence perpetrate by these sales, deserves to be heard.  Before banning gun sales it is important to consider how much money guns actually pump into our annual economy.

Whether you agree or disagree with guns in America, the fact remains that this industry does fund our economy in a strong, significant way. Add these facts to the argument and the debate regarding gun sales in America suddenly takes on a completely different meaning. Now ask yourself, can America afford to limit gun sales? In the end, it may less about people’s rights pr their safety and more about our country’s bottom line.