April 11, 2018

Lobby: CT's firearms sector grew jobs in `17

PHOTO | Contributed
PHOTO | Contributed

Jobs in Connecticut's firearms industry continued to surge in 2017 despite the national outcry calling for stern gun-control laws, according to a gun-lobby report.

According to a report released by Newtown-based National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the state's gun industry last year provided more than 5,700 jobs vs. about 4,900 jobs in 2016. Total wages in 2017 amassed over $430 million, compared to about $372 million in 2016.

NSSF reported the average wage for firearm industry workers remained flat at about $75,000.

Meanwhile, businesses in Connecticut's gun industry paid more than $138 million in federal taxes and paid over $96 million in state taxes while another $6 million in federal taxes were driven by consumer purchases, the report says.

The foundation reported the industry's national economic impact only slightly increased from $51.3 billion in 2016 to $51.4 billion in 2017. Total jobs rose from about 301,000 to nearly 311,000, or a 3 percent hike.

The report emerged this week in the wake of a mounting gun-control debate that heightened across the country following the Feb. 18 shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida where 17 people were killed by a teenage shooter wielding an AR-15 style automatic rifle.

Hundreds of anti-gun protests and school walkouts have been spawned nationwide since the deadly shooting as hundreds of thousands of anti-gun advocates are calling for strict gun laws on a variety of issues.

In Connecticut, lawmakers pushed forward legislation last week that would ban "bump stocks" -- and untraceable firearms and components known as "ghost guns." Members on both parties on the Judiciary Committee supported the bump stock bill by a 36-5 vote.

Bump stocks allow semi-automatic rifles to fire at a rate similar to machine guns.

Read the full report here.

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