According to the most recent Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax Collection Report, released by the Department of the Treasury, firearm and ammunition manufacturers report excise tax obligations to be more than $122 million in the second calendar quarter of 2009, up 52% over the same time period reported in 2008.
This dramatic increase follows a 43% increase in excise tax obligations from the previous quarter (1Q, 2009) and 12 straight months of significant increases in FBI background checks another strong indicator of firearm sales. Excise tax obligations over the last reported 12 months (July 2008 through June 2009) were more than $419.8 million, an increase of $105.9 million (33.7%) over the preceding 12month period (July 2007 through June 2008). The year’s substantial increases in background checks and federal excise tax obligations began just prior to the 2008 elections and flourished despite a worsening economy.
Manufacturers of firearms and ammunition pay a federal excise tax — a major source of wildlife conservation funding — on all firearms and ammunition manufactured (11 percent on long guns and ammunition and 10 percent on handguns).
The report, which covers the time period of April 1, 2009 through June 30, 2009, shows that $33.5 million was due in taxes for pistols and revolvers, $42.3 million for long guns and $46.1 million for ammunition. Compared to the same quarter in 2008, excise tax obligations were up 44.4 percent for handguns, 51.3 % for long guns and 57.5% for ammunition.
Translation to sales:
Using the latest reporting data as an indication of sales, a projection of $1.14 billion was generated in the second quarter (calendar year) of 2009. Please keep in mind that although excise taxes are one of the best indicators of industry performance, they only reflect what excise taxes the manufacturers have filed and do NOT reflect retail mark-up and final retail sales.
Pistols and revolvers: $33,552,785.73 / .10 = $33,552,857.30 = $335.5 million for handguns
Long guns: $42,373,696.86 / .11 = $385,215,426.00 = $385.2 million for long guns
Ammunition: $46,157,400.88 / .11 = $419,612,735.27 = $419.6 million for ammunition
Total estimation for the quarter: $1.14 billion