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20.4.2021 : 10:04 : +0200

The US Firearms Industry: Production and Supply

During the 25-year period from 1986 to 2010, US-based firearms manufacturers produced over 98 million pistols, revolvers, rifles, and shotguns for domestic sale (excluding those produced for export).

The US Firearms Industry: Production and Supply—a new Small Arms Survey Working Paper—analyses economic aspects of the US firearms industry, specifically the civilian, private security, and law enforcement (i.e. non-military) markets for pistols, revolvers, rifles, and shotguns, providing a focus on supply-side issues.

The US Firearms Industry's findings include:

  • The number of firearms tracked for this analysis (domestically retained firearms, plus imports) totals nearly 150 million units.
  • 2,288 US-based producers of civilian firearms have been identified; providing possibly the most extensive public record to date.
  • These firms produced an average of around 4.24 million firearms per year, including those for export, during the period studied.
  • Firearms imports into the United States have risen from around 500,000 units in the early 1980s to about 3.5 million units by 2010.
  • The majority of producers are relatively small in scale, with only a small percentage of firms—between 1.3 and 7.5 per cent, depending on firearms category—producing more than 100,000 weapons per year.
  • Three brands (Sturm, Ruger & Co., Remington, and Smith & Wesson) each produced ten million or more weapons over the entire 1986–2010 period, accounting for about 41 per cent of all domestically produced firearms for domestic use.

The Working Paper also estimates firearms resales via licensed dealers and discusses recent merger and acquisitions activity in the industry.

The analysis is based on a data record drawn from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; US Customs and Border Protection; and the US Census Bureau.

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