There are over 393 million guns in circulation in the U.S., according to estimates from the Small Arms Survey, far outnumbering the national population of 327 million. In the United States – the only country in the world home to more civilian-owned guns than people – guns are big business.
While the appropriate balance between gun rights and public safety is a hot button political issue, the economics of the firearm industry are less controversial. According to The Firearm Industry Trade Association, guns and ammunition had a total economic impact of over $70.5 billion in 2021 – generating over a billion dollars in tax revenue and providing hundreds of thousands of jobs.
According to data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, there were 2,501 federally licensed dealers or pawn brokers of firearms in Pennsylvania as of January 2022, or 19.5 for every 100,000 people – the 17th fewest among states.
The concentration of gun stores does not appear to be an accurate reflection of current demand for firearms in the state, as Pennsylvania ranks in the top half of the nation in gun sales, adjusting for population. FBI firearm background check data, which is a close proxy for firearm sales, shows that an estimated 619,530 guns were sold in Pennsylvania in the first half of 2022, or 4,842 for every 100,000 people, the 16th most among states.
|Rank||State||Gun stores per 100,000 people||Total store Count||Gun sales per 100,000 people, 1st half of 2022||Total gun sales, 1st half of 2022|
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