June 10th, 2008

Gun and Ammo Sales Rise in 2007

The gun industry is growing, at least based on the increased Federal excise taxe collections. Sales of ammunition and firearms rose 10.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007, led by a 23.6 percent increase in ammunition sales, a 5.9 percent rise in handgun sales and a 4 percent increase in long gun sales. These figures are based on excise taxes collected on wholesale receipts–so the rises can represent higher prices for guns and ammo, or higher quantities sold, or both. The statistics are taken from the latest Pittman-Robertson federal excise tax collection report.

Excise taxes are calculated as a percentage of wholesale receipts, paid quarterly by firearm and ammunition manufacturers, and earmarked for state wildlife conservation and habitat restoration programs. During the quarter, $74.8 million was collected, compared to $67.4 million in the same period in 2006. From October through December, $16.2 million was collected for pistols and revolvers, $31.4 million for long guns and $27.1 million for ammunition. The latest tax collections suggest overall sales of $694.4 million, not including retail markup or final retail sales. For the entire calendar year, a total of $303.2 million was collected in excise taxes, up 21.2 percent from the $250.1 million in 2006.

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