Mar 23, 2017

When it comes to gun control, there were plenty of people who were in favor of Trump solely because he was in support of them. Hilary Clinton, with her proposal for gun bans, was frowned upon by gun enthusiasts, as well as the industry.

However, to the surprise of everyone, once Trump took to office, gun sales did not spike as was suspected. In fact, gun sales experienced a decline which industry analysts actually considered to be rather normal.

Why Gun Sales Rise?

Obama and Hilary both advocated stronger background checks as well as bans on guns which made many feel their rights were personally threatened, based on the Second Amendment. Moreover, this meant buying more than one weapon at the time of purchase. During times of unrest and terrorist attacks, the demand for weapons experienced a marked increase, particularly in December 2015 after the San Bernardino incident in California.

Data reveals that gun sales have generally increased after mass shootings and high profile terrorist attacks. This was largely because not only were people more anxious for their own protection but enthusiasts of firearms feared more strenuous and tougher measures being enforced upon gun ownership.

The Decline

With Trump as President, gun sales took a decline and are beginning to stabilize due to the fact that a lot of the gun purchases were based on the fear that Hilary Clinton would bring stronger gun control. Moreover, Chris Boring, a retail consultant with expertise in gun retailing stated that, “Gun sales are driven by emotions, specifically fear and that's something that Trump has been successful, in the political arena, at selling — that feeling of fearfulness."

Once Trump was elected, this feeling dissipated, with firearm enthusiasts having nothing to fear since Trump has never threatened to make gun ownership difficult. In fact, there has already been a decline in running background checks to acquire weapons. In 2017, background checks that were successfully processed through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check system came to around 2,043,184. Comparatively, the same number in January 2016 came to a total of 2,545,802. This not only showcases slacker gun control rules and regulations, but highlights the abating fears regarding gun possession.  

Decline in Gun Stocks as Well

Gun stocks, particularly stocks in Smith & Wesson (SWHC), Sturm and Ruger (RGR) also experienced a drop of almost 20% since Trump has been elected. Marty Daniel, the co-founder and CEO of Daniel Defense had stated that "If Hillary's elected, we'll have the best four years that we could ever have, but I would not trade that for what's best for our country for anything in this world." 

While it isn’t the most favorable situation, it is one that has happened cyclically. Gun sales and stocks have always risen after a high profile attack or when gun enthusiasts have feared for their rights to gun ownership. However, many gun owners are more than happy with the trade off. Slacker gun rules have always meant lower sales. 

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