Global Post: The world’s biggest importer of firearms is also the top exporter — and the main obstacle to a UN treaty on the skyrocketing small arms industry.
Jennifer WilmoreDecember 3, 2012 06:15
HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. — When James Holmes carried out the latest in a series of grisly American mass murders by killing 12 people and injuring 59 others during a shooting rampage in a Denver movie theater last July, he used an AR-15 assault rifle and also carried two Glock pistols and a Remington shotgun — all American-made.
The United States produces the vast majority of firearms in this country. It’s also the world’s leading weapons exporter by far.
America exported $336.5 million worth of firearms in 2011, according to customs data compiled by the Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers, NISAT. That’s $200 million more than Italy, the next leading exporter.
In addition to feeding booming gun sales at home, however, the insatiable American appetite for weapons is also responsible for fueling a burgeoning small arms industry around the world. Despite producing so many of its own weapons, the United States is also the top global importer, according to a recent report that indicates US consumers are helping drive a major increase in sales.