RELEASED: ATF Firearms Commerce In The United States – 2016

Since I am getting “mixed” reviews on my cheesy Buddy Cop graphic comedy series, how about a mid-week’s look at some dry accounting numbers? Ok, maybe they aren’t so dry since all of the stats involve guns. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) has released the latest annual report on Firearms Commerce in the United States. The twenty-two page document is a raw compilation of statistics on the manufacture, transfer, import, export and licensed dealers in the U.S.

Some of the most notable numbers focus on National Fireams Act (NFA) transfer and making tax revenue:  $32.5M in 2015. That’s a $10M increase from the year before. Also of note is the dramatic rise in ATF Form 1 (Make an NFA item) and ATF Form 4 (Transfer an NFA item) applications processed – 32K and 130K in 2015 respectively. As we have previously reported, the nation’s largest silencer distributor, Silencer Shop, has acknowledged a similar spike in growth, occupying nearly 50% of all Form 4 applications nationwide.

In terms of tax revenue, $32.5M sounds like a lot but in reality it is pretty short money. Besides, ATF doesn’t see a direct correlation in their budget allotment with the fluctuation of the NFA taxes collected – it all goes directly to the Treasury Department.

Honestly, the numbers aren’t surprising – responsible gun ownership is on the rise in the U.S. as is the appreciation for all types of shooting sports.

Excerpts from the downloadable PDF document on the ATF website:


















LE – Science – OSINT.
On a mission to make all of my guns as quiet as possible.
Twitter: @gunboxready
Instagram: @tfb_pete


  • Harry’s Holsters

    That’s for putting this together. Makes me glad to know there are a couple million handguns out there in need of holsters!

    I’m surprised at the NFA stats though. In my state we have half the number of SBRs that we do machine guns and only twice as many machine guns as suppressors. Lots of DDs too. I wonder what those all are considering I know people with SBRs and Suppressors but no one with a transferable machine-gun or DD.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Harry, check your Facebook messages.

    • transferable machine gun owners tend to be very rich people who have their own hidden secret gun rooms in their mansions.

      • Harry’s Holsters

        I know a few of those too. No machine guns though. :'(

    • Cory C

      Haha. Happy hunting, Harry.

    • This report also takes law enforcement and government transfers into account.

      • Harry’s Holsters

        That explains a lot.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Texas is killing those numbers.
    Dont mess with us.

    • Jim S

      Think about it in terms of per capita. Texas has about four times NFA guns than Wyoming, but over 40 times the population.

      Just saying 🙂

      • This blog has a higher population than Wyoming, that kinda skews the numbers a little.

      • iksnilol

        Soooo…. Wyoming is a pretty fun place to be?

        • Paul White

          Until late November.

        • It doesn’t suck, but you run out of stuff to do pretty fast.

      • Cal.Bar

        You guys are missing the BIG story. Which state has the SECOND most NFA items right behind TX? CALIFORNIA! Where NO regular citizens can have them. So those numbers are ALL Hollywood or LE.

    • me

      FU*% YOU

      • The GN

        Were? Seriously?

        Were: Definition:
        Have the quality of being; linking verb used with an adjective or a predicate noun)

        Examples: they were rich


        We’re: Definition: we are

        we’re ready to go


        Where: Definition: In or at or to what place

        I know where he is

        So I would probably use “we’re”.


        The Grammar Nazi


        • Longhaired Redneck

          Say wut?

  • Porty1119

    What the hell is with those NFA numbers? A lot of those states don’t even allow NFA weapons; is law enforcement making up the numbers? Are riot control launchers the cause of the anomalously high DD registration?

    • iowaclass

      I believe that police machine guns are included in the NFRTR.
      It may be that more than half of the MGs on the NFRTR belong to Big Brother.

      • milesfortis

        You don’t have to just believe it. It’s the law.
        All NFA firearms in the U.S., including those owned by Federal agencies, (but not by the military) are in the NFRTR.

    • Malthrak

      It’s almost certainly law enforcement (as civilians, they have to register their NFA weapons too).

    • For Cali you also have all the movie prop houses.

    • remember grenades are DD registered items. even when used they are still on the registration. mortars and anti-tank cannons are also DD items.

      • Kivaari

        ATF said the stun grenades are the poorest tracked NFA items.

    • Kivaari


  • Jonathan Ferguson

    Hey, I like the comic strip, it’s a nice change of pace.

  • Stats Lie

    WTF is up w/ Cali ? Ahead of FL in NFA ? How can that be ?

    • Movie prop houses also LE.

      • Reef Blastbody

        ^ what he said. Hollywood and the king’s men get carve-out exemptions for possession of the fun stuff. Steven Spielberg is one of, if not the single biggest collector of full auto and other NFA type weapons in the US, in California via the fig leaf of motion picture production. I’d be curious to see how many of them are ever actually used in TV/movies, given his retroactive edits to ET and other works.

  • Alex Agius

    A surprising number of handguns imported from the UK. Also surprising is the number of DDs, more than any other nfa item

    • lots of dds you cannot fire off the ammo since its either a 200 dollar tax stamp itself or it no longer exists. for example lots of grenade launchers such as the Japanese one from world war 2.
      the handguns from the UK yeah I am curious since the limits on handguns in the UK pretty much killed all the handgun makers. are those antiques that are being sold off and transferred to the US? They still have some famous rifle and shotgun makers based in the UK especially for sporting guns and sniper rifles.

      • Anonymoose

        I’m guessing the UK handguns are HKs? They do have a major factory there.

        • Ezra Bristow

          I think it’s unlikely. With gun laws being so strict that our Olympic pistol team is forced to practice abroad, I don’t see the manufacture of handguns as being economically viable but I could be wrong. As for the factory… do you know where? I know they have an office in Nottingham and that they used to work out of the Royal Ordnance facilities before H&K was sold back to Germany. Would C&R handguns be counted?

          • I would think antiques would be counted as imports since in the US they know have to have billboards put on them.

      • elvis

        Most DDs have ammo that is not DD to shoot… I don’t know of any DDs that you ‘cannot fire since it’s $200 or it no longer exists’…. From 20mm, up to 155mm Howitzers… people own and shoot them all.

        • grenades are Destructive Devices. once used the grenade no longer exists. I named a dd that you cannot find the ammo for the Japanese world war two one. There are several other ones such as anti tank cannons.

    • Kivaari

      All the 40mm rounds and flash bangs. All tax exempt police gear.

  • Punk Tilious

    Good info!

    Canada exports guns to the U.S.?!?

    For Exhibit 5, Firearm Imports by Country of Manufacture, I was surprised to see 334,268 rifles imported from Canada.

    Anyone have ideas on who makes those rifles, who buys them? Besides Colt Canada, I didn’t know Canada had a major rifle maker.

    Greetings from the Great White North.

    • Kivaari

      Lots of Savage rifles were Canadian. I suspect some still are. Rimfires. Spit out of computer driven machines without the aid of humans.

      • Anonymoose

        They bought a factory just over the border in Ontario years ago, didn’t they?

        • Kivaari

          I believe it is measured in decades.

  • Amplified Heat

    Why does Connecticut have more machineguns than any other state?

    • CT also has the fourth highest median household income in the US, and machine guns have been a rich man’s game for the last thirty years.

  • Anonymoose

    We need more NFA stuff in Ohio. We also need more new Chinese rifles and handguns and Russian handguns in the US. Darn ’90s laws…

  • Huaba Sepp

    Japan exports a lot of guns for a country where eporting guns is prohibited.

    • JumpIf NotZero


  • Geoff Timm

    What rifles and handguns do the Canadians manufacture? Geoff Who is a curious fellow.

  • datimes

    29,516 machine guns in California?

    • Law enforcement and government agencies.

  • Cory C

    For what it’s worth, I think the buddy cop series is pretty darn funny.

  • Steve Truffer

    #3 in total NFA. Feels good.

  • Risky

    That $32 million for 2015 in tax stamps means that the NFA $200 tax will NEVER go away.

  • Sir TuberKopf

    The big drop in imports starting in 2014, was that the result of Obama Executive Memo/ Executive Orders?