President Barack Obama has been described as the greatest gun salesman in history. It’s pretty accurate. During his tenure in the White House, he represented a constant threat to our gun rights, even when he wasn’t saying a thing about them. As a result, many flocked to gun stores to buy firearms while they still could.
When President Trump was elected, that fear disappeared and the firearm industry hit a bit of a slump.
Now, though, the press is salivating over the idea of President Joe Biden, and they’re getting kind of stupid about it. Even a business publication like Forbes is being idiotic.
The great irony of Joseph Biden’s presidency is that he could be good for the gun industry.
President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are already fueling gun sales with the gun control platform they ran on. Americans are buying guns like never before. Gun sales have surged since the Covid-19 pandemic swept through America in March.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted 32.13 million background checks in the first 10 months of the year, breaking an annual record before the year is over. While FBI background checks are not the same as sales, they serve as the closest nationwide proxy.
Gun sales are fueled by fear over the coronavirus pandemic, a flattened economy, the millions of unemployed workers and civil unrest stemming from volatile protests and police brutality. Gun sales are also fueled by politics, and consumers are motivated by the fear of gun control.
Of course, the claim is that Biden will represent a threat and, as a result, people will buy more guns even if COVID-19 and racial tensions vanish.
See, that line of “thinking,” if it can really be called that, only works if there is a perceived threat, not an actual one. Obama sold tons of guns because buyers believed he represented a threat, but without a compliant Congress–something he didn’t have most of his presidency–there wasn’t an actual threat to gun rights.
Sure, Obama wanted to push gun control; he just couldn’t. Even most Democrats were concerned over the ramifications of backing gun control, after all.
That was then, though. This is now.
Now, we have Biden, who ran on gun control during the primary. We’ve got Democrats in the House who have been chomping at the bit to pass gun control. We have a Senate that will potentially be a 50-50 split with Kamala Harris as the tie-breaker. All it would take is one or two vulnerable Republicans thinking they have to cross lines to keep their jobs and we’ve got a problem. A big one.
And that is not good for the firearm industry.
See, while they might sell more guns in the short term, they’re going to see their most popular offerings banned. No AR-15s? That’s going to hurt a whole lot of companies, and people are deluded if they think that those attracted to the AR platform will suddenly be satisfied with some other offerings available. You don’t tell someone they can’t have the AR-15 they want, then sell them a bolt-action instead.
That’s going to hurt the firearm industry as a whole. It’s the equivalent of telling the oil industry they can no longer sell gasoline and expecting them to thrive over petroleum derivatives.
Yeah, sorry, not gonna buy that one. You’d expect Forbes to understand that.