Since the moment he took office, Donald Trump has been a friend to the NRA and gun rights activists. One of the first bills he signed, rolled back regulations making it harder for people with mental illness to purchase a firearm.
2nd Amendment fans were thrilled when Trump got elected, knowing he’d support many of their initiatives. Gun manufacturers, however, have largely seen a slump in sales since the president has been in office.
While a decline in gun sales may seem curious at first, it has much to do with marketing and messaging. When pro-gun control politicians are in office, gun sales go up. When pro-gun rights politicians are in office gun sales tend to go down.
Robert J. Spitzer, Chairman of Political Science at SUNY Cortland, explained to Talking Points Memo, “It’s easier to drive up gun sales when there’s the threat or risk of gun-rights being restricted. It’s harder to rally people when your target is one house of Congress. It just doesn’t have the same galvanizing effect.”
While mass shootings helped to drive gun sales under President Obama, they haven’t done so under President Trump. Stanford professor, David Studdert said of the Parkland shooting, “this shooting may prompt some people to buy guns, it’s unlikely to create the same kind of sales spike we saw following shootings during the Obama administration.”
While gun sales are down, very few gun control measures were taken after Parkland and Las Vegas. While the Trump Administration moved to ban bump stocks, this was done long after the Las Vegas shooting.