With the current boom in the sales of tactical rifles, or EBRs, I thought it would be timely to link to NSSF’s fact sheet on the tactical rifle, and where it fits into the industry.
Tactical rifles and accessories are a booming trend within the firearm industry. Actual sales figures are impossible to report accurately because many manufacturers are privately held companies, and ATF statistics do not distinguish between rifle types. However, anecdotal evidence is plentiful. Manufacturers say they’re backordered, tactical firearms now outsell traditional rifles, etc.
If you read the entire presser, you can see that the market for tactical rifles has been exploding in the past few years; obviously it’s blowing up right now. Assuming for the moment that a new AWB would be mush harsher than the Clinton ban, one of the possible consequences of it would be to not only put a lot of people out of work, but to decrease federal tax revenues as well. Like any other rifle, tactical rifles are subject to the same excise taxes levied on all firearms – banning their sale would have a significant impact on lowering the revenue collected by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration (Pittman-Robertson) Act of 1937.
Maybe you’re thinking “so what, I don’t own tactical rifles, so a ban doesn’t hurt me”. Well, that’s where you’d be wrong; because of what the money collected by the Pittman Robertson Act goes towards.
Funds from an 11 percent excise tax on sporting arms and ammunition [Internal Revenue Code of 1954, sec. 4161(b)] are appropriated to the Secretary of the Interior and apportioned to States on a formula basis for paying up to 75 percent of the cost approved projects. Project activities include acquisition and improvement of wildlife habitat, introduction of wildlife into suitable habitat, research into wildlife problems, surveys and inventories of wildlife problems, acquisition and development of access facilities for public use, and hunter education programs, including construction and operation of public target ranges (emphasis mine).
A loss in revenue for the Pittman-Robertson act affects all of us in a negative way, because even if you just shoot rifles, or .22s, or whatever, you’re going to have fewer places to shoot, fewer opportunities for training, and if you’re a hunter you’ll have fewer game animals to hunt due to a loss in funding for wildlife conservation acts.
This is why I’m constantly beating the drum of “unity”. We’re not just hunters, or competition shooters, or EBR guys – we are all quite literally in this together. Just because you don’t own a tactical rifle doesn’t mean that you don’t benefit from the insane sales numbers of tactical rifles. Just because you don’t shoot .223 doesn’t mean that you don’t benefit from the fact that .223 is FLYING off the shelves. To mangle the quote, we must hang together or we shall certainly hang separately.