The most recent report on firearms manufacturing from U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) reveals that American gun makers churned out more weapons in 2012 — the last full year for which the ATF has complete data — than any other in the Nation’s history.
The ATF’s Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Export Report, released in January, shows U.S. manufacturers produced 8,578,610 weapons in 2012, and exported only 287,554 of them — about 3.4 percent. The rest were sold domestically, both to government and to private consumers.
To no one’s surprise, industry professionals thank President Barack Obama’s gun control agenda for the surge in public interest in firearms.
“Barack Obama is the stimulus package for the firearms industry,” Gun Mag editor Dave Workman told Bloomberg Businessweek. “The greatest irony of the Obama administration is that the one industry that he may not have really liked to see healthy has become the healthiest industry in the United States.”
Topping manufacturing volume in 2012 were Sturm Ruger & Co. and Smith & Wesson. Both companies have also seen dramatic jumps in revenue, particularly during the first year of Obama’s second term. Sturm Ruger’s sales through the first three quarters of 2013 rose 45 percent above the company’s nine-month figures for 2012, while Smith & Wesson enjoyed a 25 percent increase over its fiscal year 2012 sales.
The ATF has tracked manufacturing statistics since 1986.