When it comes to the gun industry, the Obama effect is a great thing. Prior to the 2012 election gun sales soared thanks, in part, to many Americans fearing what an anti-firearms Obama would do in his second term. And after the president tried to pass gun control legislation in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, it seems his best efforts not only failed in Congress but also had the unintended effect of boosting sales among the American public.
The American firearms industry is as healthy as ever, seeing an unprecedented surge that has sent production of guns soaring to more than 10.8 million manufactured in 2013 alone — double the total of just three years earlier.
The 2013 surge — the latest for which the government has figures — came in the first full year after the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, signaling that the push for stricter gun controls, strongly backed by President Obama, did little to chill the industry despite the passage of stricter laws in states such as New York, Maryland, Connecticut and California.
Indeed, interest in guns appears to be at an all-time high in California, which shattered its previous record for gun-purchase background checks last month, with nearly 200,000 processed, suggesting a vibrant firearms market in the country’s largest state.
“The surge in firearms sales in 2013 reflects both a long-term upward trend in shooting sports participation and [a] particular concern that year that law-abiding gun owners and those interested in purchasing a firearm for the first time could face tougher restrictions affecting access to and selection of firearms,” Mike Bazinet, spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, told the Times.
While there was a notable surge in 2013, the industry has enjoyed solid production numbers during his entire tenure.
The biggest change in production has come under President Obama. From 2001 to 2007, gun production held steady at between 3 million and 4 million units a year. It topped 4 million in 2008 but shot to 5.6 million in 2009, held steady in 2010 and then spiked to 8.6 million guns in 2012 and a record 10.8 million in 2013, according to ATF data.This, I'm sure, is one of the rare instances the gun industry can thank President Obama for helping their business, however unintentionally.