While wishful gun control supporters keep peddling the fiction that gun ownership is declining, the firearms industry is growing at an explosive pace in order to meet a growing demand. Earlier this week, Arek Sarkissian of the Naples Daily News wrote a piece highlighting the aggressive growth in licensed gun manufacturers. As the content of the article made clear, interest in firearms is booming and the firearms industry is a vibrant sector of the U.S. economy.
As Sarkissian pointed out, at the outset of Barack Obama’s presidency in 2009, ATF had issued 3,040 active Type 07 Federal Firearms Licenses to manufacture firearms. The most recent ATF data available places the current number of Type 7 FFLs at 10,958. This is a more than 250 percent increase in the number of licensed firearms manufacturers over the past eight years.
Writing for a Florida news outlet, Sarkissian noted that the Sunshine State trails only Texas in number of gun manufacturers. From 2009 to August 2016, the number of Florida gun manufacturers has grown from 155 to 701, while Texas has gone from 219 to 1,146.
However, it’s not only traditionally pro-gun states that have experienced significant growth in firearms manufacturing in recent years. In January 2012, Massachusetts had 97 Type 07 FFLs, it now has 162. Over the same time period, California more than doubled from 229 manufacturers to 520, and Illinois grew from 124 to 187. Despite the best efforts of New York’s politicians, the state went from having 106 manufacturers to 187. Even licensed manufacturers in the anti-gun stronghold of New Jersey nearly doubled from 14 to 27.
Type 07 Firearms Manufacturer FFLs by State, January 2012 and August 2016
“Report of Active Firearms Licenses – License Type by State Statistics,” Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, January, 2012 and August 2016,
Along with month after month of record-setting numbers of background checks conducted by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, the incredible growth in firearms manufacturing puts an obvious damper on gun control advocates’ efforts to push their narrative of declining gun ownership. Contrary to these anti-gunners’ deepest desires, Americans’ interest in firearms shows no sign of abating.