MILLER: Obama backfires, gun sales in 2013 smash all records

Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

View results

One year ago this month, President Obama announced that radical gun control was the top of his agenda for his second term.

Although he failed to get any of the gun bans or government registrations passed on the federal level, he was successful in one area. His actions convinced millions of Americans to buy more firearms than any time in history.


PHOTOS: Top 10 handguns in the U.S.


The FBI reported that it performed an astounding 21,093,273 background checks for the year ending Dec. 31. In fact, eight of the top 10 highest weeks ever for National Instant Background Check System (NICS) checks were in 2013 (the other two were during Dec. 2012.)

The checks in 2013 were 8 percent higher than 2012. The one-year increase is significant because the year leading up to the presidential election also saw massive which firearm sales. 

Mr. Obama has actually been the best gun salesman in history. NICS checks have gone up a whopping 66 percent since he came to the White House.

“Last year was a record setting year for gun and ammunition sales due to the threat of anti-gun legislation at both the state and federal level,” said Lawrence Keane, general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which represents the industry’s manufacturers.

NSSF also released its own data on Monday which subtracts out the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) checks done for carry permits, which makes it a closer correlation to actual purchases. The NSSF adjusted NICS shows a 2013 year-end figure of 14,796,872.

The background checks reports are mirrored by financial information released by firearms companies.


SEE ALSO: Gun sales hit new record, ammo boom to follow


Smith & Wesson had net sales of $625 million in the fiscal year quarters that ended on Oct. 31, 2013. That is an impressive 25 percent increase over that same period in 2012.

Sturm, Ruger & Company reported net sales of $506 million for the first three quarters of 2013, which was a 45 percent increase over the corresponding period the previous year.

Freedom Group, which owns companies including Remington, DPMS and Bushmaster, reported that the first three quarters of 2013 had net sales of $1 billion, up 47 percent from the $677 in revenue for the same period in 2012.

The gun grabbers will claim that gun sales were based on the “corporate gun lobby” fear mongering and pandering to old gun owners who then stockpiled.

However, retailers report that one-quarter of gun sales were to first-time buyers who don’t fit that stereotype.

Mr. Keane said that the reason for the bully sales recently are as much political as a change in the industry.

“Demand is settling back down from the peaks of 2013, but the valley floor is much higher than before because of the significant number of new firearms owners — many of them young, urban and female — who elected to exercise their Second Amendment rights for the first time,” he told me Monday.

So, Mr. Obama did exactly what all the gun-right activists predicted. He used his second term to go after guns.

But in doing so, the president also drove new people into the industry, making it more dynamic, younger and engaged for the first time in defending their rights to keep and bear arms.

Mr. Obama inadvertently strengthened the force opposing his assault on the Second Amendment.

Emily Miller is senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times and author of “Emily Gets Her Gun” (Regnery, 2013).

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Get Breaking Alerts