Reasons to Be Cheerful: NBC Reveals U.S. Gun Biz Stats


No doubt NBC‘s editors charged their researchers with researching the U.S. firearms industry to prove that the lack of gun control is all about the money – seeing as its filed under “Oregon College Shooting” and all. The New York-based news net doesn’t say so, but c’mon. I was born on a Tuesday. Not last Tuesday. If the peacock’s media moguls thought that the stats would bolster the anti-gunners civilian disarmament campaign, they’re right! But, at the same time, the numbers clearly and unequivocally reveal that the desire to exercise the natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms is alive and well and living in America. Make the jump for the good news . . .

$13.5 billion

Annual revenue of gun and ammunition manufacturing industry, with a $1.5 billion profit. (IBIS World)

$3.1 billion

Annual revenue of gun and ammunition stores, with a $478.4 million profit. (IBIS World)


The number of pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns and miscellaneous firearms manufactured in the U.S. in 2013, the latest full year available. That’s 4,441,726 pistols, 725,282 revolvers, 3,979,570 rifles, 1,203,072 shotguns, and 495,142 miscellaneous firearms. (ATF)


Percentage of the above guns which were exported. Of those 10.84 million guns, 10,413,880 stay in America. (ATF)

270-310 million

Estimated of number of guns in the U.S. (Pew Research Center)


Number of full-time jobs related to the firearm industry, up from 209,750 in 2012. (NSSF)

$42.9 billion

Estimated overall economic impact of the firearms and ammo industry in the U.S. (NSSF)


Number of firearm background checks initiated in 2014. Because a background check is required before a gun is bought, this numbers gives insight into gun sale trends. However, just because a background check was initiated doesn’t mean a gun was purchased. (FBI)


Number of firearm background checks in 1999. (FBI)


Average number of firearms owned by a gun owner once you toss out the top 3% of gun owners who own more than 25 guns. (Journal of Injury Prevention)


Percentage of American households with guns. (NORC)

29%, 43.7%, 55.9%

Adults living in a household with firearms: percentage by suburbs, other urban areas, and rural counties, respectively. (NORC)


Percentage of Americans who say personal safety/protection is the reason they own a gun. (Gallup)

$229 billion

The cost of fatal and non-fatal gun violence to the U.S. in 2012, representing 1.4% of total gross domestic product.(Mother Jones)

Note: the last stat not only comes from Mother Jones – hardly a bastion of independent analysis – and fails to balance it against the savings provided by armed self-defense. Which is also in the billions.


  1. avatar CTstooge says:

    I’m in the top 3 percent! Yay Me!

    1. avatar Sanchanim says:

      We should start a movement, I am the other 97% LOL

    2. avatar 27 Words says:

      My thoughts exactly! Only now I want to know where the break point is (# of guns owned) to be in the top 2% and top 1%. I mean, it’s always good to have goals, right?

    3. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      Now to get my scuba gear and find that boat, maybe me too, if not give me a year or so.

    4. avatar Mikial says:


      Me too. Wow, it’s nice to finally be in the top 3% of something . . and something awesome at that!

    5. avatar ARluv says:

      I’d be curious to know how many of us that comment here are in the top 3%.

      1. avatar MichaelD says:

        Count me in the 3%. He who has the most wins!! My boys are gonna have a helluva time divvying them all up when I take that inevitable dirt nap some day. Too bad I won’t be there to watch who gets what.

        1. avatar Mikial says:

          You will, Brother. Just from a distance.

      2. avatar Katy says:

        Not I. However, if you count the kids’ Daisy, I might get to average by the end of the year. The goal is 2 a year, so I should be doing well in….10 years.

        Wow, that’s a long time.

      3. avatar Timmy! says:

        I finally made it into the 3% club this year! Well, before the boating accident, of course.

    6. avatar Dan says:

      I’m not. I have some work to do.

      1. avatar Mikial says:


        No worries. Brother. One gun at a time. 😉

        1. avatar cloud_1911 says:

          What I would do to get my hands on some of the 4% exported–definitely the most interested of the total.

        2. avatar John L. says:

          Yup, that’s how it starts. One at a time … 🙂

    7. avatar jwm says:

      I was in that top 3%. Then I decided to simplify and reduce my cleaning chores. I still have 3 .22s and I haven’t fired a .22 in 2-3 years.

      It’s a never ending balancing act.

    8. avatar AdamTA1 says:

      Before that derned boat sank I was exactly average at 5. Guess it’s time to start over.

  2. avatar Ralph says:

    Note: the last stat not only comes from Mother Jones – hardly a bastion of independent analysis

    If Mother Jones published the truth, George Soros would stop funding it. And that’s the truth.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      Their “research” is an attempt to quantify the value of a human life, which I find repulsive.

  3. avatar Stinkeye says:

    “Average number of firearms owned by a gun owner once you toss out the top 3% of gun owners who own more than 25 guns.”

    I demand to be counted. Stop marginalizing me!

    1. avatar Daryl says:

      They are disenfranchising us!

  4. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    I’m having trouble reconciling the first two numbers.
    $13.5 billion revenue to manufacturers.
    Figuring markup by distributors and retailers, the number at the retail level should be a lot higher. But all we get is $3.5 billion retailer revenue.

    Ok, the US Gov buys a lot and it doesn’t go through the retail channels. Still…

    Divide the $13.5 billion by the US population and you get a paltry $42 for every man, woman and child in the country (not counting the “undocumented” residents).

    All I can say is, I’m doing my part!

    1. avatar Roy says:

      It’s also strange that 10million firearms were manufactured in 2013, but NICS checks were 20million in 2014.

      I’m assuming there wasn’t a drastic change in manufacturing (no more than 20% increase) from 2013 to 2014 on account that gun prices mostly went back to normal before the end of 2013, meaning production was keeping up with demand. And although NICS doesn’t necessarily count for a sale, I’m willing to bet there are FAR FAR FAR more multi-gun purchase NICS checks than there are NICS checks that produce zero sales.

      1. avatar Removed_californian says:

        This. My father would always try to get 2 or 3 guns at a time whenever we go to the shop because it makes that 25$ dros cheaper if you buy more than one gun.

      2. avatar Curtis in IL says:

        There are also NICS checks for concealed carry permits, FOID cards (IL) and the like. And I seem to recall that at least one state runs NICS checks on all of their concealed carry holders once a year.

        BATFE does differentiate between those and checks for gun purchases in their published data. Hard to tell what’s included in the linked table without further research.

      3. avatar Reef Blastbody says:

        Figure a NICS check for consignment sales or used inventory sales as well. Of the dozen or so handguns I’ve bought since moving here to Free America, only 2 or 3 were new purchases. Of those that weren’t private party transactions, anyway.

      4. avatar Xanthro says:

        It’s also strange that 10million firearms were manufactured in 2013, but NICS checks were 20million in 2014.
        Remember, there are imports and private sales.

  5. avatar tdiinva (Now in Wisconsin) says:

    Am I remembering correctly that the NORC 31% comes from a survey from the Chicago area?

  6. avatar CentralIL says:

    When will the media update that 270-310 million guns estimate they keep using? The 310 million number is from a 2012 report using 2009 numbers. The 270 million number is from 2007. As documented on this site, a few more guns have entered circulation in the past 6-8 years…

    1. avatar Chip in Florida says:

      “..As documented on this site, a few more guns have entered circulation in the past 6-8 years…”

      Well, they have had a few buy-backs too.


  7. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Wow! We’re taking over!

  8. avatar John L. says:

    Three percent own more than 25 guns.

    Assuming their survey respondents actually, how shall I put it, didn’t deexaggerate their ownership.

    Seriously … How many folks here would answer a cold-call survey about their gun ownership?

    1. avatar Mikial says:

      @John L.

      Good point, I sure as heck wouldn’t. Why give the Nazis a head start on their list?

      No one really knows how many guns I own . . . um, including me.

  9. avatar NjGunGuy says:

    It is telling they didn’t provide anything for reference, like the fact that McDonald’s alone annual revenues in 2014 were 27 billion dollars, nearly five billion of that being profits.( And they made sure put what percentage of revenues was profit in teeny-weeny little letters below he total revenues. They can’t let us peons know their big bad super profitable gun industry really isn’t so big, bad, and has a really high cost of doing business.

  10. avatar Anon in CT says:

    What about the number of guns imported / year? Surely that’s tracked somewhere?

  11. avatar Mikial says:

    Funny how over the past year the media has written BS story after story about how gun ownership is declining. An unsupportable outright editorialized lie since background checks went from 9.1 million in 1999 to 20.1 million in 2014. And that doesn’t count private P2P transfers.

    So, I guess that wasn’t working so now they’re trying a different approach. Trying to scare people with how much money the weapons industry is worth.

    It won’t work either except to give us all something to be happy about. More and more people are learning to shoot and buying guns. And every time the media runs one of their scare stories about the horrors of criminals and crazy people and mass shootings, all it does is make more citizens decide it’s time they stopped being defenseless victims and armed themselves.

    The next challenge we have is to get those people to get some training so they can actually use their gun to drop some scumbag who is trying to be a wolf among sheep.

  12. avatar js says:

    So… the much-ballyhooed “gun industry”– all of it– is one sixth the size of Procter and Gamble. One-12th the sales of Apple. One-sixth the revenues of Amazon. Etc.

    Well, at least the entire gun industry is twice the size… of Netflix.

    The libtards are always acting like the “gun industry” is this huge colossus, I think to confuse it with the “military industrial complex”, one of their other bugaboos. But Lockheed by itself has THREE TIMES THE REVENUES of the entire American gun industry.

    1. avatar Mikial says:

      The media has long tried to use money and revenues of successful companies to brand them as evil Capitalist dogs climbing to success over the prostrate bodies of the working class and poor. Of course . . . the media never volunteers how much their conglomerates are worth.

      Wealthy Liberal, Democrats and the media . . . hypocrites one and all.

  13. avatar John L. says:

    You’d think, from the press coverage, that the Evil Gun Industry Barons were doing backstrokes in their piles of ill-gotten gains.

    Somehow this doesn’t jive with things like, oh, Colt’s bankruptcy, the Freedom Group’s inability to sell off parts of itself, and so forth.

    And even with a ~10% profit margin at gun stores, how does that break down between the large chains and big-boxes, mom-and-pop LGSs and mail-order firms? We don’t really have a LGS per se, but the one closest to us runs pretty close to the wire much of the time.

  14. avatar Chris says:

    What’s it take to be a 1%er in gun wealth?

    1. avatar Mikial says:

      Did you ever see pictures of Charlton Heston’s gun safe in the June 2008 issue of American Rifleman? THAT is a 1%er.

  15. avatar MikeB says:

    I have more than 25 Derringers. More than 25 1911’s. Never mind the half dozen or so NFA toys, and I don’t even want to count the Revolvers, misc other handguns and rifles!

    That has to put me close to 1% I’m thinking.

    Not one of my firearms has killed anyone while I’ve owned them, I suppose some of the old milsurp stuff that were in various wars could have been used to harm someone at one time. I will admit a few of them have caused injuries, I can think of a few pinched fingers i.e. misc Garand thumbs and what not.

    1. avatar Mikial says:

      You got my vote, Mike.

      And I wear my Garand thumb scars with pride.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        The guy who came up with “Never Again!” was speaking about Garand Thumb. The first time it happened to me, I cursed more than Frank Booth.

        1. avatar Mikial says:

          Amen to that!

          But with all the awesome Gee Wiz guns out there, and I won more than a few, there is nothing quite so satisfying as the sound when that empty clip ejects from a Garand and it’s time to load another.

          It’s SOOO worth a blood blister every so often.

        2. avatar Bohucka says:

          But then you went on a joyride, right neighbor?

  16. avatar Paul says:

    The “cost” of “gun violence” should be reduced to only the actual dollar cost of the medical care and maybe funerals to make it comparable to the dollar revenues of manufacturers and stores. I am sure the actual dollar costs of the violence are far less than $229 billion. The rest is speculation, and probably was done with little regard for actuarial correctness but great regard for political correctness.

    1. avatar FMJ says:

      And I’m guessing thugs killing each other would be a net gain for the economy.

  17. avatar Hannibal says:

    Every time Obummer gets up there and squeals about how we aren’t doing what he wants us to do (as if that’s our job) gun sales go up through the roof.

    Still the best gun salesman in modern US history…

  18. avatar Bob says:

    And one wonders what the cost of non fatal and fatal auto violence is. So much of it I bet that there is an entire industry to deal with it. I’m looking you geico and State Farm.

  19. avatar SteveInCO says:

    I sat down and wrote a list.

    I own more than I thought…but I ain’t in The Three Percent. I guess I spend “too much” on ammo and not enough on the guns themselves.

  20. avatar Grindstone says:

    Yay, I’m above average!

    I mean, I was until a boat broke into my house and dumped all my guns into a deep, deep lake…

  21. avatar SteveInCO says:

    Actually, we can’t tell what average is. We’ve been told what average is, for those who own less than 25 guns, but more than zero, but we don’t have an overall average, either for gun owners or for the general public. Those few people who own more than 25 probably pull the average way up.

    1. avatar Gman says:

      Rough statistically speaking. 350 million guns in 80 million households = 4.375 guns/household.
      Just another add to the:
      2.25 kids
      2.75 cars
      1.75 pets
      0.75 spouses

      Seems to me that in about 1/4 of US households, guns are more popular than kids, cars, pets, AND spouses.

  22. avatar Dan l says:

    U can get ar lowers for 40 bucks. So it only takes $1k to get in the three percent, minus taxes, shipping, and transfer fees, so yall that wanna be in the 3% it’s totally doable. And I will say a 40 buck ar lower is about as good an investment as u can get right now. After the 94 aswb pretty ban lowers skyrocketed…..

  23. I have 7 for self defense. What they are are all specific for the need. Someday when I am a little further up on the polls and need a more visible means of protection I will wear a sidearm for all to see. No double standards put DC politicians on Obamacare and SS and take away their body guards.Thanks for your support and vote.Pass the word.

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