The United States manufactures more guns now than it ever has before, according to a new report on firearms commerce from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
In 2013, the most current statistics available, 10,884,792 guns were manufactured in the United States, a spike of more than 2 million over the previous year. (The count excludes guns manufactured for the US military.)
The manufacturing number gives a general indication of rises or falls in gun sales.
Overall, gun manufacturing has skyrocketed since 2009, the year Barack Obama — who has pushed for some limits on gun ownership — assumed the presidency.
In 2009, 5,555,818 guns were manufactured in the United States, a jump of more than 1 million over the previous year. Since then, gun manufacturing has nearly doubled.
Smith & Wesson, one of the largest gun-makers in the world, explained the cause of this phenomenon in their 2014 Annual Report.
“[W]e experienced strong consumer demand for our firearm products following a new administration taking office in Washington, D.C. in 2009,” its management said.
In other words, when people fear they won’t be able to buy guns in the near future, they buy their guns now. Every time gun-control advocates have advocated for stricter laws, such as after the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, gun makers report strong sales. The ATF data gives the first glimpse at the manufacturing numbers in 2013, the first full year after the Sandy Hook shooting.
Here is the ATF data:
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