Gun Sales Increase in the Face of Pending Federal Gun Laws?

By: Emily Lorenzo

Blog Category: The Economics of Gun Control

The Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax (FAET), Chapter 32 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 4181), imposes 10-11% of the sale price of firearms and ammunition by manufacturers, producers, and importers. The Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) report recorded the highest increase in gun sales from 2009 to 2010, an increase of 45%. Could this increase in firearms purchases be attributed to general anticipation of the Obama-driven federal gun control policies? Perhaps not. The TTB reported a 5% decrease in the tax amount collected by the FAET from 2010 to 2011. However, the FAET excludes organizations that manufacture, produce, or import less than fifty guns per year. The 2012-13 federal gun control legislation may change this trend once again, increasing the sales of firearms and ammunition. Will we see a drastic increase similar to the increase from 2009 to 2010, or will the total tax revenue generated by FAET continue to fall?

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race.  


Firearms Excise FAQS – Tax Rates and Statistics, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, available at

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