He’s not good for much but he’s been a great asset to gun manufacturers.
Gun salesman-in-chief: 52,600 a day under Obama, more seen under Hillary
By PAUL BEDARD (@SECRETSBEDARD) • 6/27/16 7:46 AM
Gun sales are on a pace to break last year’s record of more than 23 million, a boon to the U.S. industry and gun stores thanks to election-year worries about gun control and recent terror attacks, according to government figures and experts.
Under Obama, background checks for guns reached 141.4 million through the end of May, amounting to sales of about 52,600 a day, according to the FBI. Last year, the FBI conducted more than 23 million background checks, which are generally used to figure sales of new and used weapons.
Domestically, manufacturers have reported producing about 21,000 guns a day, or more than 46 million in Obama’s first six years in office.
And should Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton continue to best Republican Donald Trump in the polls, sales could hit new highs, according to industry experts.
Joining men in buying guns have been women, youths and now members of the LGBT community, especially after the terrorist slaying of 49 at an Orlando, Fla., gay nightclub this month.
Justin Anderson, marketing director for Hyatt Guns in Charlotte, N.C., one of the nation’s biggest gun shops, said Obama has been great for sales.
“The recent surge in gun buying is based on two variables: fear of government intrusion on Second Amendment rights, and, more importantly, people interested in personal protection,” Anderson told Secrets.
“Our sales have doubled across the board, not just in AR-style rifles, but also in small frame handguns and home defense shotguns. We saw this just after the San Bernardino shooting, as well. More and more people are coming to realize that their personal safety is at risk and their government cannot protect them,” he said, adding:
“This is likely the beginning of a long rise in gun sales leading up the election. Should Hillary Clinton take a significant lead, it will only boost these sales.”
Concerns about gun laws may be what helped one gun store sell 30,000 AR-15-style rifles in a week following the Orlando shooting.
Hyatt’s Anderson suggested that the record sales under Obama actually could be higher because of how background checks are done and by which authority.
“For example, in North Carolina, the background checks for handguns are performed by the county sheriff offices and not by direct instant background check. So this data is likely left out. However, it’s a yardstick that shows the overall health of the industry. When NICS checks spike, it can be used a good measure of overall gun sales.”
What’s more, gun stores are seeing a surge in sales to members of the LGBT community after the Orlando attack. Anderson said they were always customers, but there are more now than ever.
“We have always been known to be an LGBT-friendly gun shop, and we’ve seen a huge spike in LGBT folks buying guns. The LGBT community has long been a staple of the gun business. These folks are targeted every day and they know it. Those that didn’t get a wakeup call after the Orlando shooting. In the end, people are afraid,” he said.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner’s “Washington Secrets” columnist, can be contacted at email@example.com