Unless you think unemployment and a tanking economy is a good thing, the gun industry is definitely doing their part to help America and hard working Americans get back on their feet.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation reports the gun industry added 24,763 jobs in 2015, making the nationwide total 287,986. The nearly 10% increase is attributed to manufacturing and retail jobs for guns, ammunition and related supplies, like hunting gear.
The NSSF said the last few years of job growth in the gun industry has been “nothing short of remarkable”, reporting an overall increase of 73% since 2008.
Annual wages and benefits for jobs in the gun industry average $50,180, with many of the jobs located in rural areas and small towns where cost of living is relatively low.
The state at the top of the gun industry growth in jobs is no surprise. However Texas, with about 21,386, was closely followed by Gavin Newsom’s California, then Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina and Missouri round out the top states.
NSSF reports the “economic impact”, from revenue, wages, benefits and taxes, totaled $49.3 billion in 2015, up 15% from 2014.
Also making an impact in the industry are state gun laws. When Maryland enacted several gun control measures after Sandy Hook, Beretta firearms, who finally had enough of the draconian gun laws in the state, decided it was time for them to move to Tennessee.
“Firearms are an important part of the culture in the United States, the culture of the outdoors and self-defense,” said Franco Gussalli Beretta, the executive vice president of Beretta USA. “So we were thinking it was important to develop our future business in a part of the country where all these concepts are clear and respected.”
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam applauded their decision at Beretta’s new manufacturing and research facility opening ceremony in suburban Nashville, “They had questions about staying in Maryland because they didn’t really feel appreciated there.” Haslam added, “Obviously in Tennessee we take great pride in the Second Amendment and we were proud to have a company like Beretta move here.”
To sweeten the move, the state provided more than $10 million in capital and training grants to encourage Beretta to break ground on their $45 million facility in the Volunteer State. And while the facility currently employs 75 people, Beretta expects to expand that to 300 jobs in the next few years.
Beretta has operated in Italy since 1526, and in the United States since 1977. The company reported sales of $430 million in the U.S. in 2015, out of $725 million sales worldwide, said Pietro Gussalli Beretta, the president and CEO of Beretta Holding.
“Now the flag of the Beretta Group is in Tennessee,” he said.