Gun sale profits are plunging as the combination of increased public support for gun control, and the lack of a Democratic president to scare people with has led to hard times for the gun industry and their lobby, the NRA.
CNN reported on the plunge in gun sales and profits for American Outdoor Brands, the owner of Smith and Wesson, “The company, which owns the famous Smith & Wesson brand, reported a 33% year-over-year decline in quarterly net sales, and profits that sank 65%. Shares plunged 18% in after-hours trading, and are down 26% year-to-date.”
Public support is growing for gun control
A new NPR/Ipsos poll found, “Three-quarters of people polled said gun laws should be stricter than they are today. That’s an increase — in a short period of time — from October 2017, when NPR conducted a similar survey in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting. Then, 68 percent said gun laws should be stricter than they were.”
Mass shootings used to be great for the gun business, because the NRA could use the post-shooting fear to warn gun owners that Obama was coming for their guns, but with Trump in office, the NRA has lost their main sales tactic, add in the publicity beating that the NRA is taking from the Stoneman Douglas students and their pleas for leaders to do something, and it has become a very bad time to be in the gun business.
The NRA’s power doesn’t come from their membership, which isn’t really 5 million, and membership has flatlined. The NRA is powerful because they spend hundreds of millions of dollars on candidates, lobbying, and outside spending to intervene in elections. That money does not come from membership dues or donations. It comes from the gun industry. If the gun industry stops making money, the NRA has less political clout.
This is why the NRA is desperate to get more guns in schools. Armed teachers would represent a big market for the gun industry.
The gun industry is in deep trouble, and the pressure caused by these mass shootings is pushing the NRA closer to collapse.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association