American Conservation Reaping Rewards of Firearms Sales

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The tradition of excellence in the sport of target shooting is directly aligned with the funding of conservation programs in the U.S., of which payment of excise taxes by firearms manufacturers, makes it an economic boost for conservation in the U.S., says Adams Arms president, Jason East. He cites a record year for contributions to the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Program, enabling a continuing revenue source and a natural partnership between conservation and the growth of popularity in shooting sports.

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As a firearms manufacturer I am proud to see the excise taxes we pay to the U.S. government are supporting habitat preservation, restoration of forests, reduction of soil erosion, and aid to farmers damaged by natural disasters – along with continued opportunities for recreation across the country

The sport of target shooting has more participation than tennis, soccer or baseball in the U.S. and its growth is increasing contributions to conservation and public works projects supporting wildlife and recreational opportunities – thanks in part to the excise taxes paid by American firearms manufacturers. (1) “As a firearms manufacturer I am proud to see the excise taxes we pay to the U.S. government are supporting habitat preservation, restoration of forests, reduction of soil erosion, and aid to farmers damaged by natural disasters – along with continued opportunities for recreation across the country,” states Adams Arms President, Jason East.

The Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax (FAET) was first imposed in 1919, with 10 percent of firearms manufacturers’ sales prices imposed on pistols and revolvers and 11 percent on rifles, shotguns, and ammunition. (2) Today the tax is collected by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) of the U.S. Treasury. The revenues allocated to the Wildlife Restoration Fund and Sportfish Restoration Fund are apportioned to conservation programs in all 50 states. (3)

In February 2022 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a record $1.5 B in annual funding contributed by the firearms industry excise tax to the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Program in support of state and local outdoor recreational opportunities and wildlife conservation efforts. Deputy Director Martha Williams noted that “Everyone benefits from these investments which have ensured a legacy of wildlife and outdoor opportunities for all.” (4) “This record contribution would not be possible without the taxes that firearms manufacturers pay through the FAET,” notes East. “This demonstrates the economic partnership between firearms and conservation; something the U.S. needs to appreciate.”

The National Rifle Association (NRA) sanctions over 11,000 shooting sports tournaments every year. Target shooting provides a number of activities to appeal to a wide group of enthusiasts:

  • simple “plinking” with rifles and handguns at steel or paper targets for fun and skills building
  • skilled long-range rifle shooting matches that require a high degree of discipline and precision
  • shotgun competitions such as skeet, trap and sporting clays that offer a fast pace

The sport’s growth is also boosting the economy through spending money on firearms, ammunition, targets, gas, meals, hotels and more. Each year target shooting dollars support more than 254,500 jobs and account for over $9.5 billion in salaries and wages. The funds also contribute more than $4 billion in local, state and federal tax revenues, money that goes toward the funding of vital conservation and public works projects. (4)

Setting an example of quality and ethics, for years Adams Arms has been a trusted source of reliable firearms for the U.S. military and law enforcement in addition to sports enthusiasts. Adams Arms offers a patented Piston-Driven system that is cleaner, cooler, and more reliable for use. “Our AR-15 piston system is seen for its technical merit and reliability – crucial for target shooters and skills builders. In short, Adams Arms is there when it counts the most, providing accuracy for all sportsmen,” remarks East.

Target shooters are a fast-growing group of customers for Adams Arms. “The benefits reaped from the excise taxes paid by firearms manufacturers aligns with the nation’s conservation initiatives and ensures an income stream, therefore as the NSSF notes, target shooting in America is an economic force for conservation,” insists East. “It’s a natural partnership in which American conservation is reaping the rewards of firearms sales.”

About Adams Arms
In a changing nation where the fastest growing markets of first-time gun owners are millennials, women and people of color, the old public impression of gun owners has faded. Skill proficiency, adventure and empowerment are spearheading the sharp demand for firearms and ammunition, while personal and home defense continues to be a driving force. Adams Arms, headquartered in Brooksville, Florida, is the face of reliable, clean, and cooler AR15 firearms operation with its patented piston drive action—favorites of gun enthusiasts across the country. Known for their years of parts experience and their engineering and design prowess, their Retro-Fit system can be installed by owners or piston-action arms can be purchased new. Adams Arms’ proprietary PVD and Melonite® process and their lifetime warranty make their lineup of products dependable for years to come. Adams Arms are there when it counts the most. Visit

1. Staff Writer. “Target Shooting in America; An Economic Force for Conservation”, National Shooting Sports Foundation,
2. Economic and Natural Resources analysta. “Guns, Excise Taxes, Wildlife Restoration, and the National Firearms Act”, Congressional Research Service, 2018,
3. Boesen, Ulrik. “A Good Excise Tax”, Tax Foundation, 06 April 2020,
4. Staff Writer. “Interior Department Announces Over $1.5 Billion to Support State Wildlife Conservation and Outdoor Recreation”, 11 February 2022,

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