Wildlife Conservation Receives Record Windfall of Funding Thanks to Hunter & Shooters

Thank You Sportsmen & Women!
Thank You Sportsmen & Women!
Glen Wunderlich
Glen Wunderlich

Lansing, Michigan – -(Ammoland.com)-  The most basic tenet of economics is that supply follows demand.

Of course, government’s overt involvement and manipulation of demand through policies, decrees, or laws have ways of forcing spending in a certain direction in the name of what’s good for us, whether we like it or not.

Take the issue of the incandescent light bulbs, for example. It’s now illegal for manufacturers to produce incandescent bulbs over 60 watts, because the government says so.

And, just last week I checked the price of a package of four, 60-watt bulbs and found that the price had skyrocketed to over $2 per bulb!

Is it any wonder that compact fluorescent bulbs are becoming a reasonable alternative?

However, when the government makes an end run around the Second Amendment and decrees that certain ammunition or firearms are illegal, substitute alternatives are snubbed by those that understand the meaning of infringed. Demand is then born of threats and fear, as has been the case with government’s incessant attacks on the firearms industry.

Over the past few years, the firearms industry has shown remarkable growth in the face of an otherwise dismal fiscal picture. While government spending continues to outpace revenue, median household income is down some $3 thousand annually over the past 7 years, and manufacturing continues its slide downward, the firearms industry is booming.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation has released its Economic Impact Report for 2014 and it has the government holding its nose relative to how well wildlife conservation is being funded through the firearms industry’s payment of excise taxes under the Pittman Robertson Act.

An unprecedented number of Americans are exercising their fundamental rights by purchasing firearms and ammunition. The increased demand has resulted in a total of $863,696,528 collected in excise taxes in 2014. In addition, 263,223 jobs with average wages and benefits at $52,220 per individual were part of the picture this past year. In fact, over the past 2 years, the industry has created an additional 34,609 jobs.

Comparing year 2008 to 2014 shows the dramatic effects of what a growing industry looks like:

  • Direct jobs have grown from 75,600 to 134,429 – up a startling 78 percent.
  • Total jobs increased from 166,200 to 263,223 – up 58 percent.
  • Federal business taxes rose from $1.5 billion to $3.1 billion and state revenues increased from $1.3 to $2.7 billion.
  • Excise taxes resulted in gains of an astounding 145 percent in the past 6 years from $352 million to $864 million.

Sportsmen and women are providing a major source (if not all ) of funding for America’s wildlife conservation, and for that, we should all be thankful. It doesn’t take any political spin to comprehend the positive effects of genuine, private sector job growth that has resulted from the thriving firearms industry and how it relates to wildlife management.

Now, if I could only find some .22 rimfire ammo…

About Glen WunderlichCharter Member Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA). Outdoor writer and columnist for The Argus-Press (www.argus-press.com) and blog site at www.thinkingafield.org  Member National Rifle Association (NRA), Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC), member U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA), Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA), Commemorative Bucks of Michigan (CBM).