Gun sales have fallen dramatically after Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, a decline which was amplified after talk of gun control in Congress and among business owners following the Valentine’s Day shooting at a Florida high school.
While previous gun massacres in the US have usually led to an uptick in gun sales stemmed from fears of potential crackdowns on guns, the decline spells something a lot different.
“The day after the election, it’s just like somebody turned the faucet off,” said David Dobransky, the owner of Dobransky Firearms in North Canton, Ohio, whose sales have fallen by half since Trump’s election.
Gun show owners continue to have faith that Trump won’t impose new gun regulations, something which was handled very awkwardly by the president in the past week.
While Trump proclaimed himself as a strong supporter of the National Rifle Association (NRA), he blasted lawmakers on Wednesday for being too fearful of the NRA to take action. The president continued his contradicting rhetoric by suggesting a ban on gun sales to anyone under 21.
According to an earnings conference call last week, American Outdoor Brands, which owns the renowned Smith & Wesson gun maker, has seen its revenue drop by a third over the last three months.
Gun sales dropped in December and January right before the Florida shooting and the debates on gun control that followed, the company said. They do not expect sales to improve much in 2019.
Gun maker, Sturm Ruger, shared similar estimates to American Outdoor Brands. American Outdoor Brands’ market value dropped 67 percent since Trump’s election and Sturm Ruger plunged 28 percent.
After criticizing lawmakers for their weak response to the recent Florida shooting, Trump met with NRA officials and tweeted afterward that they had a “good (great) meeting”. The NRA’s director, Wayne LaPierre, also tweeted after the meeting that the president and Vice President, Mike Pence, “don’t want gun control”.
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