During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump cast himself as one of the most unabashedly pro-gun politicians in recent history, boasting an early endorsement from the National Rifle Association and the support of many gun owners who appreciated his promise to roll back limits to the Second Amendment.
But his presidency has not been good for the gun business.
Gun sales have slowed dramatically since Trump’s election last November, manufacturers have cut down on production, and laid off workers, and gun shop owners say they’re seeing less foot traffic in their stores.
In July, the number of FBI background checks — a proxy for monthly gun purchases — plunged more than 20% compared to 2016, continuing a downward trend that’s been seen in all but one month this year, according to data from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Sturm, Ruger & Company, the largest firearm manufacturer in the US, recently reported a $36 million drop in gun sales for the second quarter, a 22% year-over-year decline that the company’s CEO attributed to “a big hangover coming out of the election cycle that had to be worked off.”
The numbers signal the end of an eight-year hot streak for the gun…