by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Last month’s gun sales were up 10 percent compared with October 2018, two reports from industry groups show, marking the third straight month of increased sales.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting (SAAF) estimated that there were just over 1.1 million gun sales in October, compared with 1 million in October 2018.
“The industry has seen well-improved sales numbers over the past three months,” Jurgen Brauer, SAAF chief economist, said in a statement.
The jump in October sales continues a recent upward trend, which coincides with a move towards stricter gun-control positions in the Democratic presidential primary. While gun sales slowed in the first term of the Trump presidency—following record-setting sales under President Barack Obama—Americans appear to be ramping up their purchasing again in recent months. As the 2020 election draws closer and Democrats focus more on gun bans or even confiscation, gun sales could continue to increase.
SAAF said that in the last three months—during which every Democratic candidate endorsed new gun bans and two candidates centered their failed campaigns on confiscating certain guns—the industry saw enough gains over 2018 to make up for low-sales months earlier in the year. If the recent upward trend continues, 2019 will surpass last year’s sales and could challenge 2017’s totals.