Hunters and sportsmen are a boon to the U.S. economy to the tune of approximately $110 billion, according to a report released last Thursday by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
This latest report, titled “Economic Impact of Hunting and Target Shooting in America,” is really a combination of two reports released earlier this year by the firearms industry’s trade association called “Hunting in America” and “Target Shooting in America.”
Yet, since there was a demand to see what the joint economic impact would be the NSSF opted to combine the reports to give one a sense of the aggregate total, which turns out to be quite a large chunk of change.
“This report shows that hunters and target shooters contribute more than $110 billion to the financial well-being of America and support more than 866,000 jobs,” said Bill Brassard, NSSF senior director of communications, in an email to GunsAmerica.
“We’ve long known about the recreational benefits of hunting and target shooting, and now we know how much these activities contribute to our economy,” Brassard continued. “Spending by hunters and target shooters positively affects businesses of all sizes in towns across America.”
To give one an idea of just how big of an impact that is, the brief report examines the jobs created, taxes raised and retail sales totaled from the two industries.
According to the report, “The more than 866,000 jobs supported by hunting and target shooting would rank as the seventh largest employer in the world, ahead of IBM or McDonald’s. And the $48 billion in retail sales exceed those of Fortune 100 Companies like Coca-Cola, Federal Express or Disney.”
Moreover, the $15 billion in annual tax revenue would be enough to pay the salary of more than 336,000 firefighters.
Long story short, the financial impact is large and perhaps critical during a period of anemic economic growth and recovery following the 2008 financial crisis.
For those curious to see where hunters and sports shooters create the biggest impact, the report includes a state-by-state breakdown. Unsurprisingly, hunters and sports shooters in Texas were at the top of the list, creating $5.1 billion in economic activity for the Lone Star State. Michigan and New York tied for second with $4.6 billion and Wisconsin came in at third with $4.2 billion.
The figures for the report were compiled by the NSSF and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, and were gleaned from spending activity in 2011.