The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) reported insights from the latest import data available for firearms, ammunition and optics categories for February 2024. This data revealed a significant shift in the market, with handgun imports, particularly pistols, experiencing a sharp decline year-over-year.

NSSF tracks and reports monthly U.S. import units for several sporting arms, ammunition and optics categories from the U.S. International Trade Commission. Below are the results for February 2024 compared to February 2023.

  • February Handgun imports decreased 28.7 percent from 309,783 to 220,859 units.
    • Pistol import units dropped 31.9 percent from 283,368 to 192,856 units.
    • Revolver units increased 6.0 percent from 26,415 to 28,003 units.
  • February Rifle imports were down 10.5 percent from 72,112 to 64,514 units, adjusted to exclude HTS codes 9303.30.4010 and 9303.30.8005 (Telescopic Sights Imported with Rifles).
  • February Shotgun category posted a 5.0 percent increase in imported units from 70,532 to 74,063.
  • February Muzzleloader category increased 19.4 percent from 7,622 to 9,099 units.
  • February Other Cartridges, excluding Shotgun cartridges, category decreased 4.9 percent from 212.9 million to 202.5 million units.
  • February Shotgun Cartridges category decreased by 21.1 percent dropping to 26.3 million units compared to last year’s nearly 33.4 million.

Telescopic Insights

  • February Telescopic sights with rifles (HTS codes 9303.30.4010 and HTS 9303.30.8005, defined as telescopic sights or other optical devices suitable for use with arms if mounted on a firearm or entered with the gun on which they are designed to be mounted) decreased 27.8 percent from 1,415 units to 1,022.
  • February Telescopic sights for rifles (HTS code 9013.10.1000, defined as telescopic sights for rifles not designed for use with infrared light) decreased 9.0 percent from 203,418 units to 185,200.
  • February Telescopic sights for rifles (HTS code 9013.10.3000, defined as telescopic sights for rifles not elsewhere specified or included [NESOI]) dropped 32.2 percent from 85,595 units to 58,014.


  • February Prism Binoculars [not for use with infrared light] (HTS code 9005.10.0040) decreased 23.0 percent from 223,441 units to 171,941.
  • February Binoculars HTS code 9005.10.0080 [Other Binoculars, NESOI] decreased 18.5 percent from 129,591 units to 105,581.

Hunting Knives

  • Fixed blades and wood handles dropped in February by 46.7 percent from 29,190 units to 15,556 units.

Source: U.S. International Trade Commission

Image courtesy Smith & Wesson