US Gun And Ammo Sales Defy Economy

Unlike most of the United States economy, the energized firearms and ammunition industry just keeps going up—and up.

The most recent Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax Collection (FAET) report released in late April indicates that firearm and ammunition manufacturers reported tax liabilities of $213.5 million in the fourth calendar quarter of 2013, which reflects a 22 percent increase over the same time period reported in 2012.

The 2013 annual FAET collections (January 1–December 31) totaled $863,696,528, making it the highest year on record to date, surpassing the previous record 2012 FAET of $643,915,884 by an impressive 34.1 percent.

FAET Obligations Update

Excise taxes on firearms and ammo sales collected under the 1937 Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (also known as Pittman-Robertson) are paid quarterly by firearms and ammunition manufacturers, and earmarked for state wildlife conservation and habitat restoration, hunter education, shooting ranges and other programs. The 10-percent tax paid on sales of pistols and revolvers, and 11 percent paid on long guns and ammunition, is the most accurate barometer of the sector's performance. Since 2000, Pittman-Robertson has generated more than $3 billion.

See Q4 Sales Projection

The report released by the U.S. Department of the Treasury last week, covering October 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013, indicates that $57.4 million was due in taxes for pistols and revolvers, $67.1 million for firearms (other)/long guns and, $89 million for ammunition (shells and cartridges). Compared to the October-December quarter 2012, tax obligations were up 11.8 percent for pistols and revolvers, up 0.6 percent for firearms/long guns, and up 56.3 percent for ammunition.

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