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Shooting Industry March 2012 Digital Edition - Page 8

Industry Industrynews By Bill Brassard Jr., NSSF any indicators, including a record-setting 2011, show the firearms industry continues to thrive in a down economy, and the potential exists for another strong sales year in 2012, NSSF reports. NSSF points out that the $4 billion firearms and ammunition industry stands apart from other industries that are struggling in the slow economy. Demand for guns has continued at a robust pace since late 2008. NSSF estimates the industry is responsible for approximately 180,000 jobs, and has a $28 billion impact on the U.S. economy. Indicators such as background-check statistics, firearms production and importation, firearm-retailer surveys and reports from retailers nationwide reveal interest in firearm ownership is high. One of the best indicators of firearms sales is the FBI’s NICS. January 2012 marked an unprecedented 20th straight month of background check increases, when compared to the same period in the previous year. Another indicator pointing to robust Tap Into Women’s Creative Side — pg. 26 Forecast: 2012 Firearm Sales Promising M “ gun sales is the federal excise taxes collected on the sale of new firearms and ammunition, which have risen 48.3 percent over the last five years. Why are more Americans choosing to own firearms? NSSF points to a range of factors, from citizens’ increased aware- Industry professionals believe consumer reaction to possible restrictive gun laws could ignite another surge in firearm sales. ness of the Second Amendment protecting the individual right to own firearms, to increased interest in personal and home protection that may be due to economic uncertainty, to increased interest in the shooting sports and hunting. Personal firearm purchases by military veterans returning from overseas duty is also a favorable factor. Politics has played a role in recent years. This election year, industry professionals believe consumer reaction to ” possible restrictive gun laws could ignite another surge in firearm sales. Related to the topic of gun sales is the public’s changing attitude toward ownership. A recent Gallup poll showed a record lack of support for gun control, with only 26 percent of Americans favoring a ban on the possession of handguns. In 2010, an NSSF/Harris poll showed that 43 percent of respondents, which equates to nearly 98 million people, expressed some level of interest in participating in the shooting sports or hunting. For hunting, the decadeslong national decline in hunting license sales has ceased, and more than 20 states have reported increases in hunting licenses sold. Women, in particular, seem eager to explore firearms ownership. Participation by women increased in both target shooting (46.5%) and hunting (36.6%) in the last decade, according to NASGW. Also, 61 percent of firearm retailers responding to an NSSF survey said they saw an increase in female customers in their stores. For more information, visit www. nssf.org. Freedom Group Acquires Para USA F reedom Group, Inc. (FGI), through a wholly owned subsidiary, announced in January that it has finalized an asset purchase agreement to acquire certain assets of Para USA Inc. “We welcome Para into the Freedom Group Family of Companies,” said E. Scott Blackwell, chief sales and marketing officer of Freedom Group. “Para USA is a leader in handgun technology, and their fine products exemplify quality, innovation and performance. Para is a perfect complement to our industry-leading family of brands, and our success in 2011 with the Remington R1 1911. We look forward to deploying both human and financial resources to continue to develop and supply current and future handguns for consumers and our channel partners. We also wish to thank all its employees for their continued dedication that has made Para a success.” Para USA will continue day-to-day operations at their Pineville, N.C.-based facility. For more information, visit www.freedom-group.com. At The Rockcastle Shooting Center For The 2012 Shooting Industry Masters! See page 34. Visit www.shootingindustry.com/masters. 8 MARCH 2012 Join Us On The Firing Line! Subscribe to SI DIGITAL www.shootingindustry.com

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