The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) has just released its 2015 Firearms Commerce in the United States Annual Statistical Update.
According to manufacturing data in the report, U.S. gun makers produced a record number of firearms in 2012 — 8.578 million. But that number is dwarfed by the 2013 total of 10.884 million, up 26% (2.266 million).
Most remarkable: The data in the 2015 report shows an estimated increase in firearms manufacturing in the U.S. of more than 100 percent within a four-year period. In 2010, more than 5.4 million firearms were manufactured. By 2013, that number doubled.
Pistols make up the bulk of the firearms manufactured, with 3.487 million being built in 2012 compared to 4.4 million produced in 2013 (+27%, or 953,843 pistols).
The number of rifles manufactured also increased, from 3.168 million in 2012 to 3.979 million in 2013 (+26%, or 811,364 rifles).
Likewise, the number of shotguns manufactured in 2013 broke the million mark for the first time since 1999 — jumping from 949,010 in 2012 to 1.203 million in 2013 (+27%, or 254,062 shotguns).
The largest segment of growth was in Miscellaneous mechanisms, which jumped 62% (188,988) from 2013 (495,142) compared to 2012 (306,154).
Revolver manufacturing was also up 9%, moving from 667,357 in 2012 to 725,282 in 2013 (+57,925).
The AFMER report excludes production for the U.S. military but does include firearms purchased by domestic law enforcement agencies. The report also includes firearms manufactured for export.
AFMER data is not published until one year after the close of the calendar year reporting period because the proprietary data furnished by filers is protected from immediate disclosure by the Trade Secrets Act. For example, calendar year 2012 data was due to BATFE by April 1, 2013, but not published until January 2014.
Import and export data for calendar year 2014 was also included in the report, and it showed more than 3.6 million firearms were imported into the United States; 2.1 million of those firearms were handguns. In calendar year 2013, the most recent year for which data is available, the U.S. exported more than 393,000 firearms.
See our previous coverage here.
What has driven such phenomenal growth in firearms production? Will it continue?