During a time of economic uncertainty, firearm and ammunition sales have continued to increase throughout Vermont and the rest of the nation.
According to the most recent Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax Collection Report, released last week by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, firearm and ammunition manufacturers paid more than $98.1 million in the fourth calendar quarter of 2008, up 31.3 percent over the same time period reported in 2007.
Manufacturers of firearms and ammunition pay a federal excise tax-a major source of wildlife conservation funding -on all firearms and ammunition manufactured (11 percent on long guns and ammunition and 10 percent on handguns).
"Demand for firearms and ammunition is clear," said NSSF President Steve Sanetti. "Since the November elections we've seen an increase in firearm ownership coupled with an unprecedented level of attendance at firearm safety courses nationwide. Americans are buying firearms, and they're taking the proper precautions to ensure that they exercise their individual Second Amendment rights safely and responsibly."
Using the latest collections as an indication of sales, a projection of $917.5 million was generated in the fourth. Although excise taxes are one of the indicators of industry performance, they only report what the manufacturers paid in taxes and do not reflect retail mark-up and final retail sales. The figures are based solely on U.S. civilian sales and do not include sales to military, police and other governmental agencies.