The National Shooting Sports Foundation has released a new report entitled “Economic Impact of Hunting and Target Shooting in America.” The report combines data from other NSSF reports into a comprehensive summary of just how many dollars the shooting sports generate.

“America’s hunters and target shooters create one giant economic engine whose hum can be felt throughout our country and by businesses of all sizes,” said Elizabeth Karasmeighan, NSSF Director, Legislative and Policy Research.

The numbers are eye-opening and, especially in these tough times, if removed, would create a hole in the economy that would be almost impossible to fill. First, retail sales in the U.S. totaled over $48.25 billion. This number alone will turn some heads and would rank ahead of companies like Coca-Cola and Disney.

Though many politicians are trying to use crime and tragedy to push a gun control agenda, they would do well to think about the tax impact that restricting or banning gun, ammunition, and related sales. State and local taxes totaled over $7 billion while the federal tax total was over $8.2 billion. An NSSF graphic notes that this combined taxation is enough to pay 336,269 firefighters.

Finally, with so much of today’s economic uncertainty tied to a tough job market, the employment numbers in the hunting and target shooting sports must be taken into consideration. According to the report, 866,339 jobs are filled by those serving the hunters and target shooters, and those jobs earn over $34 billion in salaries.

The full report, including state-by-state breakdowns, is available at NSSF.org.