Written by Jonathan Blumberg, CNBC
The political climate has influence over gun sales. The expectation of many Americans that Hillary Clinton, the vocal pro-gun-control candidate, was going to win the presidential election in November is considered largely responsible for last year's surge. American Outdoor Brands, one of the largest gun manufacturers in the United States, experienced a 48.5 percent decrease in firearms revenue this quarter compared with the same time last year, The Guardian reports. Sales fell $100 million as a result of what has been called the "Trump slump."
People buy firearms at the highest rates when they fear regulations will be enhanced. The mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub shooting in June of 2016 also spurred record sales. According to the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), over 27.5 million firearm background checks for gun transactions were processed in 2016. That was over 4 million more than the previous year, and double the number of transactions in 2008.
Speaking at the National Rifle Association's annual convention, President Trump told members, "You came through for me, and I am going to come through for you." Trump is the first president to speak at the event since Ronald Reagan, and the organization doubled what it spent during the 2012 election to support his campaign, totaling $26.8 million on ads endorsing him and attacking Clinton.
The Guardian notes that even with a dip in revenue compared to last year, by historic standards, the industry is doing just fine. Mike Bazinet, a spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, said, "We are on track to see the second or third highest year since the [background check] system began."