Following President Barack Obama’s announcement earlier this week of a series of executive actions aimed at curbing gun violence, sales of firearms spiked in towns across the United States. Gun shops in numerous states including Montana, Utah and Maine all reported a recent increase in gun sales amid talks of tighter gun regulations, with one gun shop owner in Chattanooga, Tennessee, going so far as to to dubb Obama the "gun salesman of the year. "
"He's the salesman of the year," said Amiee Smith, the co-owner of the Shooters Depot in Chattanooga, timefreepress.com reported. "It's true. Every time he opens his mouth, he drives up sales — which is probably the exact opposite of what he wants."
Co-owner Travis Linneman of Missoula's Selway Armory, which sells guns nationwide online and is based in Missoula, Montana, also said that Obama has been good for business, KGVO reported. “Actually it started this weekend as there was the first announcement that [Obama] was going to the DOJ to meet with the head of the Department of Justice to talk about options. We saw a doubling in our normal gun rate for this time of year for guns moving online," Linneman said, KGVO reported.
Obama’s recently announced rules would require more gun sellers to be licensed and conduct background checks. After Obama unveiled his new gun plan Tuesday, firearm manufacturer Smith & Wesson rose to its highest value ever after raising its forecast for gun sales, Bloomberg reported.
Chris Krueger, an analyst with Lake Street Capital Markets LLC, noted that while expanded checks likely won’t affect the average gun buyer who purchases a weapon at a store, the concern that such measures are only a first step to more regulation, along with heightened gun-control discussion during an election year, probably will drive sales higher throughout 2016, Bloomberg reported.
“The political environment at times has helped sales,” Krueger said, Bloomberg reported.
After a number of mass shootings in 2015 heightened Obama’s calls for tighter gun control, the firearms industry overall had a record-breaking year. Background checks for gun purchases and permits climbed 10 percent last year to 23.1 million, which was the largest number it has been since the federal background check system was implemented in 1998, the Washington Post reported. On Black Friday alone, 185,000 checks were processed, making it the single biggest gun-purchasing day ever.