Let’s Talk About Guns: Economic Impact

By Daniel D’Amico, Trending Writer

Gun sales have drastically changed recently and with this comes a huge impact to the economy. Many argue that the economic impact of gun sales should not be a reason to halt gun control efforts. This is due to all the recent shootings which have led to public opinion being a major cause for this change in gun sales.

Aside from the sale and production of guns, the cost of all the violence and shootings has had a great economic impact when solely focusing on the events themselves. CBS News states, “Some estimates put the total annual tab of shootings at well over $100 billion, while others put it even higher.” This is seen in the form of: lost wages, medical bills, higher taxes for law enforcement, and lower property values to name a few. Many do not recognize these high costs as they do not feel these effects directly, especially living in a safe environment. Regardless, the taxpayers do need to pay more for these various incidents and the injuries and services that go with them.

Looking at the gun sales more specifically, they have dropped in 2017 as a whole. One specific case has been seen with major gun company Sturn Roger based out of Southport, Connecticut. CNN reports, “Sturm Ruger (RGR), one of the major gun manufacturers, said that net sales fell 27% in the fourth quarter of 2017, and profits were nearly cut in half. The company also said that net sales fell 22 percent for the full year 2017, and profit plunged by more than a third.”

Sturn Roger produces a variety of handguns which it then sells to several retailers. The company cites this to decreased consumer demand compared with 2016. In addition, many retailers have aimed to decrease their inventories and competitor businesses have offered major discounts.

While the decreased gun sales do impact the economy negatively to some extent, many feel as though this is not a valid reason to not pursue gun control legislation. Global Risk Insights states, “The US firearms and ammunition industry grew to $51.3 billion by 2016, and employs over 300,000 people.” While these are large figures, they also discuss how a ban on bump stocks or similar appendages would not significantly damage the firearms industry. Similarly, banning semi-automatic and other assault-style rifles, while it would have a greater effect, would not be catastrophic.

Given these sentiments and figures, it is the ease of access to guns in the US that is cited as the main issue. While economic impact is a concern, a drop in the sale of guns has already been seen throughout 2017. Despite this, further gun control legislation should still be advocated and fought for.

 

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, February 27th print edition.

Contact Daniel at

daniel.damico@student.shu.edu

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