Firearm Imports on the Rise while Exports Decline Substantially

By Joshua Prince, Esq.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) issued a report depicting the importation and exportation data for December of 2011. Their report for both importation and exportation is broken down into six categories:

  1. Handgun;
  2. Rifle;
  3. Shotgun;
  4. Muzzle Loader;
  5. Other Cartridges; and
  6. Shotgun Cartridges;

Importation: The importation statistics showed that imports increased 3.2% in comparison to December 2010. Handgun imports increased 42.9%; (48.5% increase in pistols and 22.1% increase in revolvers); Rifle imports increased 22.4%; Shotgun imports increased  11.3%; Muzzle Loaders increased 113.2%; Other Cartridges decreased 1.1%; and Shotgun Cartridges increased 164.7%.

Exportation: The exportation statistic, however, showed that exports decreased 41.3%. in comparison to December 2010. Handgun imports decreased 8.4% (8.1% decrease in pistols and 11/2% decrease in revolvers); Rifle exports increased 24%; Shotgun exports decreased 52.6%; Muzzle Loaders decreased 47%; Other Cartridges decreased 46.2%; and Shotgun Cartridges decreased 164.7%.

These statistics would seem to reflect the raising competitive nature of the international firearms industry. While importing firearms can be time-consuming and frustrating, the cost-benefit of doing such seems to clearly be in favor of importation, over the cost of American products being exported; however, just because an item is imported does not mean that it was sold. Nevertheless, given the economic times that we find ourselves in, I believe more individuals are looking to purchase cheaper firearms. Since foreign made firearms tend to be cheaper than domestically made firearms, this may be the underlying reason for the jump in imports and the decline in exports.

If you have questions about obtaining a Federal Firearms License (FFL) to import firearms, dealing with the Directorate of Defense Trade Control and the International Firearms in Arms Regulations (ITAR) or simply importing/exporting firearms related products, do not hesitate to contact me.

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