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Conservation Would Cease to Exist Without Excise Taxes Collected on Guns and Ammo

Gabriella Hoffman
by Gabriella Hoffman Read Profile arrow_right_alt

A new report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearms industry trade association, says their respective industry’s total economic impact grew from $19.1 billion in 2008 to $52.1 billion in 2018—a whopping 171 percent increase. The “Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report” determined the top five states for economic output in the industry are Texas, California, Illinois, Minnesota, and Florida.

The goal of the report is to highlight the “significant economic impact the firearms and ammunition industry has on the nation’s and each state’s economy.”

With respect to excise taxes generated by sales of firearms and ammunition, the report says $653,764,800 was generated in 2018. The top five states in this category are Texas, California, Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania.

Under the Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937 (Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937), excise taxes are collected on firearms, hunting/fishing licenses, archery, tackle, and other sporting goods. They are collected by the Department of Interior to later be distributed to the state wildlife agencies for habitat restoration projects and wildlife conservation efforts.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) defines excise taxes as taxes paid when purchases are made on a specific goods, like firearms and ammunition. For reference: A 10 percent excise tax is collected on pistols and revolvers, while an 11 percent excise tax is collected on shotguns, rifles, and ammunition.  

Imagine if gun control took hold in this country? Conservation funding would take a major hit—which is an overlooked and oft-ignored consequence of such a policy.

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