Thanks to executive orders from Joe Biden, the ATF has released its annual report on the firearms industry and commerce.
According to that report, there has been a massive increase in firearms ownership and a significant increase in firearms manufacturing.
The report, titled “Firearms Commerce in the United States – Annual Statistical Update 2021,” sheds light on the number of firearms manufactured per year, firearms imports & exports, NFA forms filed, and more.
According to the report, firearms manufacturing has tripled since the year 2000. It continues to increase over time, with manufacturing reaching a high of 11,497,441 firearms made in 2016, likely due to the demand caused by the 2016 election (there is no data for 2020 or 2021 in the report).
Clearly, Americans’ appetite for firearms has increased dramatically over the years, with demand being met by a huge rise in imports…
Handguns dominated the imports…
Additionally, based on background check data, one would expect that the numbers for 2020 & 2021 would be significantly higher than previous years as well…
This fits with the fact that many Americans who have traditionally opposed firearms-ownership bought guns in the face of civil unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic during those years.
Interestingly, the amount of tax revenue stemming from the National Firearms Act is also included in the report. The NFA, as it is commonly known, is a 1934 law that regulates and taxes the purchase of machine guns, short-barreled rifles, and silencers.
ATF reports that since 2000 the revenue from NFA tax has increased from around $2 Million to $51.6 Million in 2020, including a 635% increase in Form 4 applications alone. (The ATF Form 4 is used to transfer a suppressor, machine gun, or SBR from a dealer to an individual.)
This increase could represent a significant change in market demand as more and more Americans dive into serious firearms ownership.
In the introduction to the report, the ATF’s current interim director, Gary M. Restaino, noted that the purpose was to: “prevent diversion of these firearms from the legal to the illegal market.”
Is it possible that ATF published this data to support gun control legislation?
The basic facts here pass my giggle test.
I think the Democrats’ return to gun control rhetoric around ‘12 can’t be overstated in terms of its influence on gun sales. Gun sales tick up in ‘08 with Obama’s first election, but go stratospheric in ‘12 after he gets re-elected and goes all out after Sandy Hook.
Additionally, there are a lot more guns on the market than there were in the late 90s, and quality guns too. If you wanted a CCW piece in ‘99, you had pretty limited selection at your LGS. If you wanted a 1 MOA rifle, so much more so. Nowadays any LGS is going to overwhelm you with options for both.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Re choices, indeed. I’ve heard present times described as a golden age, not only for firearms but also accessories such as scopes, red dots, etc. Given the cornucopia of choices on the market, and the quality vs price tradespace, I’m inclined to agree.
Except in California, of course, with the handgun roster steadily timing out choices for the would-be buyer.
The strong growth in “miscellaneous weapons” after 2011-2012 is quite interesting. I suppose that is NFA items, and would guess mostly suppressors. If so, and given that it now looks to be at least a high single-digit fraction of firearms manufactured per year, I wonder how a challenge to the GCA on “common use” grounds would fare if it managed to get to SCOTUS.
I have pondered a “common use” challenge to the Hughes Amendment and/or NFA itself for full-auto. Full auto has been ubiquitous in .mil applications for decades or a century depending on how you define various terms. And it’s become quite common in civilian law enforcement applications in recent decades. The only reason why it’s not in common usage in the civilian sphere is the Hughes Amendment. There’s no question in my mind that full-auto would be at least as common as suppressors in civilian usage if full auto guns were “merely” as regulated as suppressors.
It seems unlikely to me that the USSC would be in a mood to overturn the Hughes Amendment or the NFA, but it seems to me that the reasoning is sound.
it doesnt matter how reasonable or decisive and brilliant the argument is. they wont do it because of “feelings”
I agree. But I think it’s a great argument and I’m impressed with myself for thinking of it.
Really, the “common use” test is the Achilles Heel of Scalia’s Heller decision. For a bright guy, it was very poorly reasoned. It seems clear to me that under the text of the Second Amendment, M4s and Sig 320s (what do they call that thing? M11?) should be available for 11 year-olds in hardware stores and he should have just said that.
I agree with both of you but suspect Shawn’s take will win out. Just a few minutes of listening to the ruling class’s insane ravings about gender and race proves that reason and logic are rare commodities at those levels.