We’ve all heard about the “Trump Slump.” The idea is that with no more threats against the Second Amendment because the Trump administration is in power, people aren’t driven to purchase guns as they did during the eight years of the Obama presidency.
There’s a good reason President Barack Obama will probably go down as the gun salesman of the 21st century.
Well, an article claims that having friends like that in D.C. is bad for the gun industry.
When gunmakers and dealers gather this week in Las Vegas for the industry’s largest annual conference, they will be grappling with slumping sales and a shift in politics that many didn’t envision two years ago when gun-friendly Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress took office.
Some of the top priorities for the industry – expanding the reach of concealed carry permits and easing restrictions on so-called “silencers” – remain in limbo, and prospects for expanding gun rights are nil for the foreseeable future.
Instead, fueled by the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, the federal government banned bump stocks and newly in-charge U.S. House Democrats introduced legislation that would require background checks for virtually every firearm sale, regardless of whether it’s from a gun dealer or a private sale.
Even without Democrats’ gains in November’s midterm elections, the industry was facing a so-called “Trump slump,” a plummet in sales that happens amid gun rights-friendly administrations. Background checks were at an all-time high in 2016, President Barack Obama’s last full year in office, numbering more than 27.5 million; since then, background checks have been at about 25 million each year.
Gun-control advocates are rejoicing in the gun industry’s misfortunes of late and chalking it up to not just shifting attitudes among Americans but a shift in elected political leaders.
“Without a fake menace in the White House to gin up fears, gun sales have been in a Trump slump and, as a result, the NRA is on the rocks,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, a group founded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Industry insiders argue that they’re not particularly bothered by the slow down in sales, and they’re right.
While the article’s title argues that it’s bad for business, it’s wrong. It’s wrong because pretty much every gun company worthy of the term understands one important thing. Short-term sales don’t do them any good if they’re forced out of business in the long term. Even if Democrats don’t try to completely ban guns, additional gun restrictions will negatively impact sales to such a degree that some firms may be forced to close.
So yeah, they’re OK with having fewer sales now so they can continue to have sales over the longer term.
With that in mind, is it any wonder that they’re fine with the lower revenue right now versus where they were under the Obama administration? Lord knows I’d much rather make a little less money but know I won’t have to worry for four-eight years. Wouldn’t you?