As Gun-Control Debate Rages, the Nation's Gun Industry Thrives

Despite opposition, the gun industry remains strong.

By + More

A number of foreign gun manufacturers have also started selling to the American market, offering an even wider variety of easy-to-use weapons such as the Glock, which is made by an Austrian company.

"You used to buy a hunting rifle and you kept it for 35 years. The gun technology really hasn't changed," Vizzard says. But unlike with electronics, he says the majority of people now purchase guns based on how they look instead of their technological upgrades.

[Read: 50 Smart Money Moves.]

By the numbers. According to an analysis by Samidi, the gun industry turned a $992 million profit last year and exported $4.4 billion in guns. He expects the gun industry to grow 3.7 percent annually until 2017, but says that number could be lower if gun-control legislation moves forward.

While this legislation is on the table, though, the country will see a spike in gun-industry growth. "Clearly you're getting some consumers going to buy guns before there's change in gun laws," he says, resulting in gun manufacturers stocking the shelves.