Since 2010, the number of gun manufacturing permits has doubled in the United States, with Arizona one of the states seeing the biggest increases.
"The manufacturing license is less expensive than the typical dealer-only license and you can not only do the manufacturing, buy you can also deal and sell the firearms as well," explained John Webster, who owns CTR Guns in Tempe and also holds a manufacturing license.
According to data compiled by Bloomberg, there are now 7,811 licensed firearm manufacturers in the U.S. That number was just 3,718 in January of 2010. The report shows that Arizona, Florida and Texas lead the way with the increase in license applications. In fact, one in every four licenses in Mesa now allows the holder to make or customize firearms.
"What's driving it is these businesses are coming to Arizona saying, 'Look, let's come to Arizona. Arizona is one of a handful of states that has some of the best gun laws that are non-prohibitive," explained Webster.
Webster suggested the increase in gun manufacturing licenses also makes economic sense for dealers. Instead of only being limited to selling un-modified weapons, those with a manufacturing license can also change and alter their firearms and legally sell the modified pieces.
"You're getting more bang for the buck by getting that manufacturing license as opposed to a sales-only license. That's what I thinks is happening. I don't think it's any fear of anything. It's just good business sense," said Webster.
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