Gun manufacturing and sales is big business in the United States — as it turns out, one of the biggest.
In terms of gun ownership, the U.S. is the runaway global leader. There are nearly nine firearms for every 10 American citizens; this proportion is 40% higher than that of Yemen, which ranks second in the world for gun ownership.
Every year, nearly 9 million firearms enter the U.S. market. 5.5 million guns are manufactured domestically, and roughly 95% are eventually sold to Americans. An additional 3.2 million firearms are imported into the U.S. and sold through licensed firearms dealers. Currently there are more than 130,000 of these licensed dealers in the country; to put that number in perspective, the U.S. is also home to 144,000 gas stations, 36,500 grocery stores, and 14,000 McDonald’s restaurants.
Want more comparisons? The firearms industry generates roughly $32 billion in revenue every year — $10 billion more than the Ford Motor Company — and employs 98,000 people, five times more than Google Inc. Furthermore, the gun industry is continuing to grow at an astonishing rate. Connecticut-based Sturm, Ruger & Co., the country’s fourth largest firearm manufacturer, recorded a $180 million increase in revenue since 2004.