Posted by: maboulette | October 3, 2016

Obama Spurred Guns Sales Over 8 Years


Few people have sold more guns than Barack Obama. In March of last year, looking at the effects of his presidency on the gun industry, it is estimated that the gun industry had seen about $9 billion more in sales during Obama’s presidency than might otherwise have been expected. That’s an estimate, but it’s clear that the past eight years have been a boon for gun manufacturers. Half of the guns in the United States are owned by 3 percent of adults, suggesting that people who have guns are buying more guns — but to the gun manufacturers, a sale is a sale.


Gun sales have benefited partly from a string of high-profile mass shootings. They’ve benefited also from the opinion that elected officials — Obama in particular — seek to decrease gun ownership. Evidence suggests, though, that the prospect of a Hillary Clinton electoral victory isn’t spurring gun sales the way Obama did.

Background checks

There are a few patterns that we’ve seen over the past decade or so, looking at federal background check data collected by the FBI, a fairly rough estimate of gun sales. (Why rough? Some states, like Kentucky, require additional background checks, which can drive up the numbers.) One pattern: Background checks have steadily increased, beginning an upward curve shortly before Obama took office. Another: Gun sales are cyclical over the course of the year, peaking around Christmas.

Trump endorse by NRA

Donald Trump has spent a lot of energy arguing (falsely) that Clinton wants to undo the Second Amendment. He got an early endorsement from the NRA that he regularly brings up on the campaign trail. That message doesn’t seem to have taken hold as well as it did with Obama. (In the Democratic primary in 2008, Clinton actually hit Obama on being anti-gun.)

Clinton on guns

That may change if Clinton is elected. Over the course of Obama’s two terms, background checks spiked whenever he called for new legislation expanding background checks or limiting what types of weapons can be purchased. Clinton has pledged similar actions. If she wins in November and makes a push to that end, expect gun sales to spike again.


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