NSSF: Firearm industry growth here to stay

The National Shooting Sports Foundation said last week news of slumping gun sales is just a distraction trumpeted by gun control groups determined to “write the industry’s obituary prematurely.”

Larry Keane, NSSF’s general counsel, called the media frenzy over falling gun stock prices in the wake of Donald Trump’s election win “the latest grist for their propaganda mill.”

“Now, you see, there will be no reason for this small number of gun-buying Americans to want to buy more firearms because they no longer fear control by anti-gun political leaders, as a Bloomberg columnist opined,” he said in a Nov. 17 blog post. “So, in this latest scenario, the anti-gun groups and media see another opportunity to begin writing the industry’s obituary. Talk about a leap in logic.”

Keane chastised gun control groups for ignoring “long-term growth” in firearms sales tied to broader issues such as an increased participation in shooting sports and the effects of the Heller v. D.C. Supreme Court decision. Instead, he said, the “anti-gun narrative” relies on a caricature of the modern gun owners: aging, mostly white Americans amassing stockpiles of firearms in their “overflowing gun safes.”

“We know that argument is ridiculous, as any visitor to a retailer or range could quickly confirm,” he said. “Gun control organizations are constantly trying to minimize the size of the gun-owning American public as a way of trying to make the adoption of more laws and regulations appear more likely or even inevitable. That they are insulting our intelligence or even that of the American people as a whole doesn’t seem to bother them.”

Insisting he isn’t a “stock prognosticator,” Keane said the firearms industry will continue it’s 20-year growth trend, regardless of which party controls the White House.

“It may do so in a more normalized market against a more stable political backdrop with fewer spikes in demand that occur when law-abiding consumers perceive that politicians will try to enact restrictions on their ability to purchase the products they want to buy,” he said.” When you acknowledge the factors discussed at the beginning of this post, you conclude that a few days of stock trading should not be used to predict the future growth path of the industry. We are confident and you should be, too. And that’s what we are telling the media.”

Despite Keane’s analysis, Reuters reported Monday gun sales won’t be setting any records on Black Friday because drummed-up frenzy over lingering gun control no longer exists like it did before the election.

This, despite the FBI’s release of record-breaking background check numbers month after month — a known proxy for gun sales nationwide.

The National Instant Criminal Background Check system processed 2.3 million checks in October, putting the system just 935,737 behind last year’s record of 23.1 million.

It’s the biggest October on record since the federal background check system rolled out in 1998 and, as the firearms industry heads into its busiest selling season, NICS could secure its biggest year ever by the end of this month.

NICS data for November will be available next week.

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