Gun owners have recently been buying in bulk as a result of President Obama’s reelection and the fear of tighter regulations on assault weapons in a second term.
In Ohio, this upward trend in sales was expected, planned for and has come true.
“The increase in sales has been obvious and intense and not surprising at all,” said Ted Osborne, general manager of Pro Armament in Cuyahoga Falls. “As a 25-year veteran of this business, you begin to notice patterns and see how people think. I always watch the trends in sales.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, the month of October saw the number of background checks on people applying to buy guns increase by a staggering 18.4 percent.
“Some people buy guns just for personal protection, and then some buy them as an investment. It’s no different than buying stock on Wall Street,” Osborne said. “People watch the economic climate and make smart investments on things that can increase in value.”
A comparable jump in sales occurred in 2008 when 12.7 million background checks were carried out. That number has risen in each subsequent year. According to gun analysts, this is directly tied to President Obama’s gun policy and possible future Supreme Court nominations.
“I knew it would happen in 2012 just like in 2008,” said Osborne. “People don’t like what they see and ultimately just want to be sure they have what they want and can get it while they can get it.”
According to the International Business Times, the NRA spent an estimated 11 million dollars during the 2012 election in what would eventually turn out to be a losing effort. This money was spent in support of Governor Romney with hopes that a more conservative approach to gun control would reach Washington.
Rick Linke, owner of Arlans Gun and Ammo Shop in Kent, said he thinks the NRA is an invaluable ally despite some flaws in its mechanics.
“The NRA has stepped on our toes before, but they do the best they can with a tough situation,” said Linke. “As a lifelong member, I will say that they give it their all and usually make amends if they make a mistake. Many people don’t realize the incredible amount of tax dollars guns generate. It’s a tax, tax, tax industry.”
The NRA also earmarked almost $500,000 to defeat Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown in Ohio.
“They did the best job they could considering the circumstances, and they know what is ultimately at stake,” said Osborne. “The government should really look at itself before it comes after a thriving industry like this. Gun sales provide a ton of revenue and help the economy in many cities.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, many gun suppliers have been anxious that amplified demand may not last and have been wary about supplying retailers with excess stock. These issues have not been an issue with local gun shops.
“Sales are good and have been good,” Linke said. “The first thing they want to ban is assault weapons but those really have no bearing when it comes to crimes committed. These guns are becoming more for sport nowadays. They aren’t the old style military guns anymore. Those are what sell and continue to sell in good numbers.”
As demand has risen, manufacturing is up, and prices have risen. This has paved the way to record industry profits. Ironically, President Obama’s reelection may, in the end, have a positive influence on an industry worried about his legislation.
“Does fear of Obama have a positive impact on the industry? It’s certainly making people buy guns, watch trends and keep us busy,” Osborne said.