As lawmakers consider a range of new restrictions on guns, the gun industry is growing nervous that its exceptional success during the “Great Recession” could be coming to an end.
In the past four years, the gun industry has experienced an unprecedented level of growth, providing a rare boost to the ailing economy.
But now, with states like New York and Colorado passing some of the strictest gun laws in decades — and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid poised to bring a sweeping new gun control measure to the Senate floor — worries are growing about the widespread impact such gun laws could have on business.
The gun industry employs approximately 220,000 highly skilled workers, according to a recent report released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Over the past two years, while the rest of the country faced unemployment rates above 8 percent, the gun industry added more than 37,000 new jobs, with average salary of $47,000.
The report states that in 2012 alone, the industry paid $5.1 billion in federal taxes and was responsible for $33.6 billion in economic activity.
Demand for new guns is high. FBI background checks for new guns through America’s 130,000 licensed firearm dealers have doubled since 2006, but with politicians pushing for various bans on firearms and magazines, the era of growth in the gun industry may be coming to an end.
“It’s unfortunate. We don’t want to lay anyone off, but there is always the potential of layoffs,” said Joseph H. Bartozzi, CEO of shotgun and rifle manufacturer Mossberg & Sons.