Firearms Makers Thrive Amid Gun Control Debate, Made $12 Billion Last Year


Stag Arms in Connecticut has built a thriving business on AR-15 rifles and only rifles, says USA Today. The 6,000 semiautomatics produced each month in the small assembly room are double the number from just last year. Back orders for 70,000 more will take two years to fill. Resembling firearms carried by police SWAT teams and soldiers, the guns are the kind that – since the Newtown massacre just two months ago and 32 miles away – have inspired a flurry of new legislative proposals, from a reinstatement of the assault weapons ban and limits on the size of ammunition clips to background checks for all weapons purchases. Firearms makers have arguably the biggest financial stake in the outcome of a debate that has threatened to ban one of the industry’s biggest money-makers – known among gunmakers as the “modern sporting rifle” and to gun-control advocates as the “military-style assault weapon.” The rifle’s popularity helped 465 U.S. gun and ammunition makers generate an estimated $12 billion in revenue last year, surging from $9 billion in 2007, says IBISWorld, a market research firm.

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