Barack Obama was arguably the worst president in the modern era in terms of existential threats to the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
And Hillary Clinton could have been even worse.
That’s precisely why gun sales saw multiple record years during Obama’s time in the White House.
Now with Trump in charge, who boasts about being pro-gun rights, the industry has taken an ironic turn for the worst…precisely because people feel safer.
Here’s more from the Federalist…
When candidate Donald Trump stood atop the stage at last year’s National Rifle Association convention in Louisville, Kentucky, the gun world felt a proverbial “thrill up its leg.”
For the previous eight years, gun rights advocates, gun owners, and the firearms industry had been fighting an all-out war with the Obama administration and its allies in Congress, the media, and the courts to fend off the constant chipping away of the Second Amendment. From magazine limits to ammunition bans to attacks on the character of gun owners, it seemed each day brought a new skirmish.
But fate had delivered a savior, many thought. Trump was unabashedly pro-gun, pro self-defense and pro-Second Amendment, and wasn’t cowed by previous Republicans’ inclinations to downplay the role of lawful firearms ownership in the protection of American society. When he received the full-throated endorsement of the NRA, gun owners knew they had a candidate they could get behind.
So it’s no surprise that when Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton — who’d once hinted that Australian-style gun bans might be a valid option for U.S. gun control — the pro-gun world went wild. No longer would each day bring a potential new fight. Finally, gun owners had a president in the White House who bragged about his concealed-carry license, for crying out loud.
The victory even prompted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) leaders in the “deep state” to rethink their enforcement of outdated gun laws, like suppressor regulation, the import ban on AK-47 rifles, and restrictions on some now-ubiquitous ammunition. Gun owners believed a new day had dawned.
Gun Control Threats Are Good for Business
Unfortunately, Trump’s win has had the unintended consequence of throwing the firearms industry into a deep slump, forcing major companies to lay off workers, driving prices deep into the red, and forcing some gun dealers out of business. While the Obama years might have been a dark time for gun rights, the Democrat president was a boon for gun retailers and manufacturers (a fact Obama has admitted himself). Each time the needle ticked further in the direction of gun restriction, Americans flocked to their local gun store and plunked down cash for more irons.
The industry swelled because of the “panic buying,” with new manufacturers popping up, old names in the industry swelling their ranks, and more new gun owners pushing into demographics with previously tepid interest.
In the Trump era, however, that fear is gone, and with it the market’s urgency to beat the clock on the next “commonsense” gun ban. That’s helped nudge iconic gunmakers Coltand Remington to lay off hundreds of workers and shut down entire divisions of their companies, forced manufacturers to close their doors, and prompted retailers and distributors to offer deep discounts on firearms, with one offering an AR-15 rifle at prices below even the cheapest handguns.
“The combination of increased inventory in the channel and a likely decrease in consumer demand for the near term has made for a more challenging sell-through environment,” said a top executive with gunmaker Ruger during a February 23 investor call.