Many anti-gunners in the so-called “mainstream” media would have Americans believe that gun sales have immediately gone into the tank with the election of Donald Trump as president. And they are finding themselves proven wrong—over and over again.
It’s likely true that had Hillary Clinton won the election, gun sales would have spiked even more, just as they have risen greatly under anti-gun President Barack Obama. But President-elect Trump’s surprise victory certainly hasn’t resulted in a slowdown at the retail level so far.
We told you a few weeks ago how many in the media blew it by predicting lower Black Friday gun sales. Instead of tanking, the number of Black Friday background checks conducted this year totaled 185,713—surpassing 2015’s record-breaking total by nearly 400 and making it the biggest Black Friday ever for gun sales.
Next came reports of the sharp downward trend. A Nov. 25 Daily Wire headline blared: “Gun Sales Down Nationally Following Trump Win.” Pittsburgh’s local CBS affiliate posted a story on Nov. 23 titled: “Gun Store Owners Seeing Slow Down In Sales Since Trump Victory.” And the headline of a Nov. 21 feature at NYpost.com read: “Trump Win Sinks Gun Stocks and Gun Shop Sales.” … President-elect Trump’s surprise victory certainly hasn’t resulted in a slowdown at the retail level so far.
It’s clear the media outlets were predicting—even hoping—that gun sales would cool, and that such an occurrence might be used to somehow drive a wedge between Trump and gun makers, gun sellers and gun owners. But all of them were dead wrong—as they often tend to be when reporting on firearms and firearm owners.
The latest numbers from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) indicate that November 2016 set another new record for background checks for gun sales—defying more doom-and-gloom predictions. In fact, the more than 2.5 million checks conducted for firearm purchases last month made it the busiest November and fourth-busiest month ever in the history of the NICS system. And it marked the 19th straight month that monthly checks were higher than that month in previous years.
I believe there are several factors driving the continued record sales—and they are all factors that many in the media can’t see because of their misunderstanding of America’s law-abiding gun owners.
The quickly growing self-defense market With more and more states continuing to recognize and even deregulate the right to carry a firearm for self-defense, small handguns designed for that purpose have become a major part of the gun market. They come from a large number of manufacturers, and in a variety of shapes, sizes and calibers. As more and more Americans take the responsibility for their own safety and that of their family, sales in this segment are not likely to decrease soon.
The continued threat from gun-ban billionaires and their surrogate groups While we won a major victory for the Second Amendment by defeating Hillary Clinton, gun owners in the know understand that former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, his Everytown phonies and his nagging Moms aren’t going anywhere soon. Sure, those groups are just fronts for Bloomberg’s billions, which he seems perfectly happy to spend trying to curtail our Second Amendment rights. But having Bloomberg’s money behind them makes them formidable foes that, while hopefully stymied in Congress for the time being, will continue their assault in the states through both bad legislation and misleading ballot initiatives.Media who still consider gun ownership a bastion of the “old white guy” will continue to misunderstand the firearm market …
New unholy alliances Last week’s announcement that gun-ban groups are partnering with big law firms to take on firearm freedoms does nothing to alleviate the fear of future infringements on the Second Amendment. The New York Times boasted that “the firms are committing tens of millions of dollars in free legal services from top corporate lawyers who typically bill clients $1,000 an hour or more”—and this isn’t the kind of news that will likely send gun sales spiraling anytime soon. Neither is the Times’ proclamation that “On one front, the coalition will seek to overturn state laws that have gone largely unchallenged, including new policies that force businesses to allow guns to be carried on their property.”
The expanding market among women, younger Americans and minorities It’s easy to see how the growth in different shooter demographics has helped drive a flourishing retail market in firearms—just look around next time you go to the shooting range. Women are buying guns, learning to shoot and training seriously at record rates. Since 2007, there’s been a remarkable 270 percent increase in women seeking concealed-carry permits, and a recent Harvard/Northeastern survey shows that 43 percent of today’s handgun owners are women. Interestingly, many of those women are buying their guns for the self-defense purposes we mentioned earlier. And don’t overlook the sales growth to younger Americans and minorities. Media who still consider gun ownership a bastion of the “old white guy” will continue to misunderstand the firearm market if they don’t accept these modern realities.
How much longer will gun sales keep up their record pace? Only time will tell.
But in my opinion, it’s unlikely that retail firearm sales will end up “in the tank” anytime soon—no matter how bad some in the media want that to happen.