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Browning machineguns

By Travis Pike

We often talk about firearms and gun control as a rights issue. We do this for good reason, the right to keep and bear arms in an American right enshrined in our founding document. We fight tooth and nail for our ability to own firearms and standard accessories like bayonet lugs. We fight tooth and nail to own magazines that hold eleven plus rounds. We fight tooth and nail because it’s our right. There is another side of the coin though, another reason to fight. While maintaining our right to keep and bear arms is the most important thing, there are other critical components to gun ownership that affect our nation. These are mainly what the gun industry does for the county economically . . .

First and foremost before we dive headfirst into this piece I will be the first to admit that gun businesses would not go out of business over some specific laws. Universal background checks won’t shutter the doors. However, as we’ve all seen the endgame isn’t UBCs, or assault weapons bans, or licensing, or insurance, so on and so forth. We know the endgame for progressives and the house of D, and some folks aren’t afraid of bragging that their endgame is.

Mr. and Mrs. America turn ’em all in.”

If we had the gun laws of most of Europe we would be looking at some economic consequences. The police and military do make up a large portion of firearm sales, but why do they have multiple options? Because civilian sales fuel innovation, look no further than the explosion in concealed carry firearms. Police and Militaries aren’t buying many Ruger LCPs, or S&W J frames.

Some companies may do okay without civilian sales, but as Colt has proven a company can’t rely on military contracts for it’s entirety.

Democrats claim to support, labor, jobs, and industry. A big talking point of Democrats in 2016 is the evil corporations sending jobs overseas, low wages, and bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States. Well, maybe this wouldn’t such a worry if they weren’t constantly trying to kill American jobs in the gun industry.

Let’s look at the gun industry by the numbers:

Jobs – 287,986 full time equivalent employees. (Gasp! Some of these are union jobs! Something the Dems ignore.)

Average Wage and Benefits – $50,180

These numbers come from John Dunham and Associates, and claims to take into account ammunition production, holsters, scopes etc. The average wage of these employees is according to the NSSF’s Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report. The gun industry employs twice as many employees as GM, which President Obama once called, “A pillar of our economy.”

Magpul employees roughly 200 people. How many of those would lose jobs if a magazine ban was implemented? Just one lost job is too many in my opinion. We know people would lose jobs, because they did in Colorado when Magpul left due to new Colorado gun laws.

A lot of firearms production isn’t automated, so it requires skilled workers in many different roles. These are full time American jobs, with benefits, in an industry that has been growing every year. According to the NSSF, firearms jobs have grown by 73 percent since 2008. Wages have increased a 126% in the same time frame.

In 2015 the firearm’s industry, and industry’s related to it generated almost 50 billion is economic activity. When you combine federal, and state taxes you get over 6.2 billion dollars in tax revenue. I’m curious how much of that tax revenue goes to anti gun programs.

Support Small Business

The industry isn’t where the benefits or gun ownership and gun culture end. First and foremost let’s go back to the Democrats hating on corporations. How many corporate gun stores are there?

I had a hard time finding an actual breakdown of FFLS, with the closest accurate numbers I could verify being from 2012, and gun retailers sat 50,812. The rest of the FFLs out there are not involved in retail firearm sales, or are small home based FFLs. Of that 50,000 the largest retailer is Wal Mart with approximately 4,800 locations. Other big box retailers include Gander Mountain at 115 locations, Bass Pro with 94 locations, Academy with over 200 (Website is vague) and Sportsman’s Warehouse has 61. This adds up to approximately 5200 locations.

These numbers don’t cover all big box gun dealers, but surely it covers most of the National chains. That still leaves well over 40,000 locations. The vast majority of which are small, local gun stores. These small gun stores employ people locally and allow entrepreneurs to succeed. My local gun store is a small operation that employs 4 full time workers, and beats Wal Mart is price and selection 99% of the time. (Shout out to Big Bend Outfitters in Perry FL.)

Democrats are supposed to support small business, and oppose those evil corporations. But how is that possible when they aggressively pursue gun control?

We of course have Hillary Clinton, and her legion of supporters wanting to sue gun manufacturers, gun stores, and ammunition sellers out of existence. This is an attack of the economic prosperity of citizens of the United States. This is an attack on businesses both large and small.

The Great Outdoors

So stepping away from the industry as a whole, we look at some other programs firearms contribute too. Do you like wolves? Maybe think it’s cool that we are working hard to bring wolf populations back? Well, thank a gun owner.

At the manufacturers level there is a federal excise tax which I didn’t mention in total taxes paid. I’m generally opposed to such taxes, but regardless of my feelings, the tax does fund programs that the blueside typically loves. Like bringing the wolf numbers up, and natural conservation efforts. According to the Duluth News Tribune the federal excise tax on guns is supporting three quarters of the costs associated with wolf research in Minnesota.

Jim Hodgson, regional chief of wildlife and sport fish restoration for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service says, “The level of gun and ammunition sales we’ve seen in recent years, which we’ve never had before, has been a real boost to state wildlife agencies and to wildlife habitat and restoration across the country,” (Quote attributed to Duluth News Tribune)

This money raised in 2015 was over 676 million dollars. It’s going to fund projects around nature conservation. The Dems may claim to support these programs, but gun owners have literally put their money where their mouth is. I’m not even touching hunting licenses and the costs those raise for conservation. (750 million in Federal duck stamps alone in 2015)

If the anti gunners got their way, where would that leave us? It would economically leave us in a bigger hole than we already are. Jobs would be gone. Conservation efforts would be significantly underfunded. Do you know who should lose jobs when gun freedom is challenged?

The challengers, like those fine folks who were able to pull anti gunners out of their seats in Colorado. Gun rights are incredibly important just because they are our rights, but it’s important to remember they are also an economic powerhouse for the United States.

A pillar if you will.


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  1. We gun owners should know this. Thanks for the information.

    A hoplophobe or anti-hunter doesn’t care about facts.

    When talking with antis about the excise tax that funds wildlife conservation they say they would get the money from another tax. Usually gasoline, coal, or tobacco.

    There is an old saying “Never try to teach a pig to whistle, it’s tough on you, and irritates the pig”.

    True That.

  2. I’m all for the 2nd amendment, but I would be very careful using economic arguments. You could use the same arguments for cigarette and alcohol sales. And they will backfire in the same way. And the lovely federal excise tax, if it is so good, let’s raise it.

    • I understand your point, but alcohol and cigarettes are apples and guns are oranges imho. If they admit the excise tax is good they have to admit guns sales are good to

  3. Nice exposition of facts. If the donald came out with this plank I would support his sleazy orange persona…

      • Bern and the donald have a lot in common. They’ve both claimed they are of the party they are running for. We are soooooo screwed…

      • True–but in the same breath stated that manufacturers should be held liable for what someone else does with their products (i.e. a criminal shooting up a school/store/wherever). The Beast was beating him up for supporting the PLCAA and he decided to state his regret and desire to “take another look at that.” He has stated that he wants to co-sponsor a bill to repeal it.
        Now I have to go wash my hands and disinfect the keyboard. :/

    • FWW,  Here is the statement from Trump’s website:


      Donald J. Trump on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

      The Second Amendment to our Constitution is clear. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period.The Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right that belongs to all law-abiding Americans. The Constitution doesn’t create that right – it ensures that the government can’t take it away. Our Founding Fathers knew, and our Supreme Court has upheld, that the Second Amendment’s purpose is to guarantee our right to defend ourselves and our families. This is about self-defense, plain and simple.It’s been said that the Second Amendment is America’s first freedom. That’s because the Right to Keep and Bear Arms protects all our other rights. We are the only country in the world that has a Second Amendment. Protecting that freedom is imperative. Here’s how we will do that:Enforce The Laws On The BooksWe need to get serious about prosecuting violent criminals. The Obama administration’s record on that is abysmal. Violent crime in cities like Baltimore, Chicago and many others is out of control. Drug dealers and gang members are given a slap on the wrist and turned loose on the street. This needs to stop. Several years ago there was a tremendous program in Richmond, Virginia called Project Exile. It said that if a violent felon uses a gun to commit a crime, you will be prosecuted in federal court and go to prison for five years – no parole or early release. Obama’s former Attorney General, Eric Holder, called that a “cookie cutter” program. That’s ridiculous. I call that program a success. Murders committed with guns in Richmond decreased by over 60% when Project Exile was in place – in the first two years of the program alone, 350 armed felons were taken off the street.Why does that matter to law-abiding gun owners? Because they’re the ones who anti-gun politicians and the media blame when criminals misuse guns. We need to bring back and expand programs like Project Exile and get gang members and drug dealers off the street. When we do, crime will go down and our cities and communities will be safer places to live.Here’s another important way to fight crime – empower law-abiding gun owners to defend themselves. Law enforcement is great, they do a tremendous job, but they can’t be everywhere all of the time. Our personal protection is ultimately up to us. That’s why I’m a gun owner, that’s why I have a concealed carry permit, and that’s why tens of millions of Americans have concealed carry permits as well. It’s just common sense. To make America great again, we’re going to go after criminals and put the law back on the side of the law-abiding.

      Fix Our Broken Mental Health System
      Let’s be clear about this. Our mental health system is broken. It needs to be fixed. Too many politicians have ignored this problem for too long.All of the tragic mass murders that occurred in the past several years have something in common – there were red flags that were ignored. We can’t allow that to continue. We need to expand treatment programs, because most people with mental health problems aren’t violent, they just need help. But for those who are violent, a danger to themselves or others, we need to get them off the street before they can terrorize our communities. This is just common sense.And why does this matter to law-abiding gun owners? Once again, because they get blamed by anti-gun politicians, gun control groups and the media for the acts of deranged madmen. When one of these tragedies occurs, we can count on two things: one, that opponents of gun rights will immediately exploit it to push their political agenda; and two, that none of their so-called “solutions” would have prevented the tragedy in the first place. They’ve even admitted it.We need real solutions to address real problems. Not grandstanding or political agendas.

      Defend The Rights of Law-Abiding Gun Owners
      GUN AND MAGAZINE BANS. Gun and magazine bans are a total failure. That’s been proven every time it’s been tried. Opponents of gun rights try to come up with scary sounding phrases like “assault weapons”, “military-style weapons” and “high capacity magazines” to confuse people. What they’re really talking about are popular semi-automatic rifles and standard magazines that are owned by tens of millions of Americans. Law-abiding people should be allowed to own the firearm of their choice. The government has no business dictating what types of firearms good, honest people are allowed to own.
      BACKGROUND CHECKS. There has been a national background check system in place since 1998. Every time a person buys a gun from a federally licensed gun dealer – which is the overwhelming majority of all gun purchases – they go through a federal background check. Study after study has shown that very few criminals are stupid enough to try and pass a background check – they get their guns from friends/family members or by stealing them. So the overwhelming majority of people who go through background checks are law-abiding gun owners. When the system was created, gun owners were promised that it would be instant, accurate and fair. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case today. Too many states are failing to put criminal and mental health records into the system – and it should go without saying that a system’s only going to be as effective as the records that are put into it. What we need to do is fix the system we have and make it work as intended. What we don’t need to do is expand a broken system.
      NATIONAL RIGHT TO CARRY. The right of self-defense doesn’t stop at the end of your driveway. That’s why I have a concealed carry permit and why tens of millions of Americans do too. That permit should be valid in all 50 states. A driver’s license works in every state, so it’s common sense that a concealed carry permit should work in every state. If we can do that for driving – which is a privilege, not a right – then surely we can do that for concealed carry, which is a right, not a privilege.
      MILITARY BASES AND RECRUITING CENTERS. Banning our military from carrying firearms on bases and at recruiting centers is ridiculous. We train our military how to safely and responsibly use firearms, but our current policies leave them defenseless. To make America great again, we need a strong military. To have a strong military, we need to allow them to defend themselves.

  4. Maybe think it’s cool that we are working hard to bring wolf populations back?

    Not really, especially when the government introduces a species to an area that never lived there in the first place.

    • Wolves roamed the entirety of pre-Columbian North America. And pretty much did until the later part of the 19th century. A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopoldo would be a good place to start to understand the history of North American wolves.

      • It’s just Leopold, not Leopoldo. And he was a great man, father of modern ecology, famous for his “stewards of the land” mentality, but he would probably not be in favor of introducing Canadian Grey Wolves as a replacement for the North American wolf, which is what is happening.
        I could be wrong, I do happen to be in grad school right now working on an MSc in Ecology, so I’m pretty interested in this topic for sure.

  5. Thing is you are dealing with zealots. They don’t care how many jobs are lost or economic impact in any fashion as all they want to do is ban guns and destroy the industry economic impacts be damned.

    The left has openly said they hate us and would love the goverment to blanket ban all gun and kill all who oppose. That 110 million people at least. But in there mind that would be an acceptable action; having the United States goverment exterminate 100 million of its own population to create a gun free liberal utopia. These people are insane. Not only are they insane they are evil to such a degree it is beyond psychological comprehension.

    • No, you are dealing with adult children, and expecting them to converse like grown-ups.

    • The Democrats, like the Greens and another political philosophy founded on a dubious grasp of economics, will always choose ideology over reality. If ideology and reality clash, it is reality that suffers.

      The Democrats will consider losing a million-plus jobs to satisfy their ideology a mere statistic. Especially as the hardships suffered by those who lost their jobs will make them more likely to follow the Democrat’s solutions.

  6. The Gun community as a whole is benevolent in supporting in order for it to endure generations. The Problem is the Liberal Progressives are indoctrinated with fear and falsehoods…If I had one opportunity to confront HRC I would ask “Do you know what the 2A Stands for” and would be very curious what the answer and reactions would be?
    I bet the crowd would be flabbergasted and reveal anger towards the question and my person…because they are ill informed and afraid…which I believe stems from what a Firearm Actually does…unless you have experienced using a firearm…it is generally feared…

    The Liberal Progressive “Machine” is not only attaching our rights but also our Human identity and the ability to make choices for ourselves…they are in the business of actually trying to change Social Structure…and the construct of individual thought… “Control” in order to ration, manipulate and direct with consequence to the whole collective…I know sounds like “Star Trek”. but the analogy can be associated to Economics, Government, and daily life…

    So say we need to fight for our Natural Freedoms anyway we can…

  7. I turned off ad block plus and ghostery and reloaded this page to see if TTAG was ready to be shared with fence sitters. It is not. Which is unfortunate, because there are those who could be swayed by articles such as this.

    • ^^^THIS. Can we PLEASE find another way to generate revenue? The ads make this place looks like

      • That’s because ad companies don’t want to be associated with guns or Alex Jones.
        Once TTAG gets more gun related sponsors, they can go away.
        Or maybe if TTAG goes to a subscription model (HINT! HINT!), subscribers can replace the revenue that currently comes from learning about the product that can give you six pack abs in two months with no effort required.

  8. A good amount of those remaining 40,000 FFLs are people that just have it set up out of their homes, right? Actual LGSs are lesser than private citizens with FFLs.

  9. Do you know who should lose jobs when gun freedom is challenged?
    <raises hand> Politicians?

  10. I believe what Dan points out is a basic fact. In the “glory days” troops came home and returned to hunting and target shooting. Now days, not so much. The stresses of fighting enemies without uniforms is way different.Even in Korea we knew the enemy. But I digress here..

    Point being, we do NOT want American workers to stop making our firearms. Yes we can do better! 870 is a prime example. Democrats are trying to take away these peoples jobs, quite seriously. They say” who needs gun companies? Let them wither and die.My response is what I see from forward thinking companies; move south or wherever to avoid the commie/socialist brainmeld. Be free my gunmakers, as God and John Browning intended!!

  11. I met a woman who was trying on a woodsmans vest. She was headed for the Delaware wetlands to bird watch. She said, “it’s funny that the hunter’s license fees allow me to do this.”

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