New gun owners and ammunition panic-buyers have turbo-charged the firearms industry. They’re also helping generate extra money for wildlife habitat, hunter recruitment, and much more
We’re more than 10 months into the largest civilian firearms and ammunition buying surge in American history. More than 8 million people bought a firearm for the first time last year and ammunition from .22LR to .300 Win. Mag. is sold out at stores across the country and backordered for months. When the surge will end is uncertain, but here’s one thing that’s absolute: This will all lead to a boom in conservation and wildlife funding in 2021, and beyond.
And this is probably the greatest untold story of the great gun-buying year of 2020. For every sporting arm and box of ammunition sold, there’s an 11 percent excise tax applied that funds wildlife and habitat conservation initiatives (the tax is also applied to archery equipment). There’s a similar 10 percent excise tax on all handgun sales. Those excise tax dollars are distributed to states specifically for conservation work, hunter education and recruitment, shooting ranges, and wildlife research. In short, the more guns and ammo that get sold, the more available money there will be for conservation work.