Gun sales have slowed since Trump won the presidential election in 2016. The AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle, in particular, are not being bought.
The AR-15 is the same style gun used in some of the country’s worst mass shootings including San Bernardino, Sutherland Springs church, Las Vegas, Sandy Hook, Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school and the Orlando Pulse nightclub shootings.
Some are calling the slumping gun sales ‘‘The Trump Slump.” Gun manufacturer Smith and Wesson experienced a 50-percent drop in revenue from long gun sales from 2016 to 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Smith and Wesson is just one manufacturer to report seeing assault rifle sales decline. Remington Arms, Co., the country’s oldest gunmaker, filed for bankruptcy in March. Maine gun maker Windham Weaponry has also been affected. “Sales have normalized because you don’t have the fear-based market,” Mark Eliason of Windham Weaponry told the Wall Street Journal.
The industry has relied on ‘panic gun control’ sale tactics to make sales in recent years. Those tactics have worked under previous administrations, but under Trump, panic concerns have greatly diminished.
Trump has been transparent about his support for gun owners and the Second Amendment. “We will protect your 2nd Amendment,” Trump said While speaking at the NRA annual conference in Texas last May. “Your 2nd Amendment rights are under siege, but they will never, ever be under siege as long as I’m your president.” Trump is the first president since Ronald Reagan to address the NRA’s national convention.
“The one thing that has always stood between the American people and the elimination of our Second Amendment rights has been conservatives in Congress willing to fight for those rights.”
During the Obama administration, the AR-style rifles and and “personal protection” handguns dominated firearm sales. Some gun shops saw sales soar in the months before the 2016 election when Hillary Clinton was predicted to win the presidency, according to USA Today.
“The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end,” Trump said in April 2017 at the NRA Leadership Forum in Atlanta. “You have a true friend and champion in the White House.”