February 22nd, 2011

U.S. Gun Production Rises to 5.4 Million Firearms in 2009

According to the latest Firearm Manufacturing and Export Report from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), U.S. firearm manufacturers produced more than 5.4 million firearms in 2009. That’s a big increase compared to the start of the decade in 2001, when less than 3,000,000 firearms were manufactured by U.S. companies. In recent years, production of both handguns and long guns has grown significantly, as show in the graph below, prepared by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) based on ATF records from 1984-2009.

Firearms production chart

The ATF data (from 1984-2009) reveals some interesting trends:

  • Total firearms produced in 2009 topped 5.4 million, exceeding the previous high total in 1994.
  • Over 3,000,000 long guns were produced in 2009, the highest quantity in the past 25 years.
  • The total number of firearms sold in 2009 works out to one gun for every 57 citizens, based on the 2009 U.S. population of 305,529,237.
  • After a decade-long decline, handgun production rose dramatically from 2004-2009. If trends continue, in a few more years, pistol sales could out-number long gun sales.

NSSF research has updated its 14-page Industry Intelligence Report, titled Firearms Production in the United States, with the most recent data on U.S. production of pistols, revolvers, rifles and shotguns. Additional updated data found in this report include: Annual Survey of Manufacturers figures and U.S. International Trade Commission firearm import and export figures. The report is available for free to NSSF members by logging into the members section of the NSSF website, clicking “NSSF Industry Research” and then clicking “Industry Intelligence Reports.” For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.

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