Report: Guns growing economy

Friday, April 20, 2012 - 8:43am

When it comes to growing the national economy, firearms are making a big boom. That's according to a recent report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which showed the industry has grown 66 percent in the last four years, contributing billions to the economy.

Here in the Ark-La-Tex, gun ranges are seeing a 40 percent increase in traffic, according to Shooters USA in Bossier City. "A lot of people wanting to learn to shoot, a lot of people buying new firearms, it's really been a boon," said Joel Cheney. Ron's Guns has seen an increase too, which employees say began three years ago. "Probably in the first three or four months [of this year], we've probably sold about half as many as we did the whole of last year," said Gene Mock.

Jobs in the industry are up, too. About 200,000 were created last year, a 66 percent increase from 2008. So why so much demand? Gun shop owners say it's mostly about protection, but politics play a part as well. "You always have a spike in gun sales when there's a Democrat in office. Clinton administration, they tried to ban a lot of things, so people are just anticipating more of the same."

Background checks for gun sales clocked in at over a million last month. That's a 20 percent increase over last year.

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