ST. LOUIS COUNTY – Between the recent school shootings and renewed calls for gun control measures, local gun sales are on the rise in the St. Louis area.
Gun manufacturers saw record profits during the Obama administration, but this last year has been dubbed “The Trump Slump.” It turns out, sales for assault weapons tend to go up when concern about gun control does too.
“We sell 2-3 of these firearms a day anyway, but now we have people talking about what happens if they ban this,” said Stephen King, the owner of Metro Shooting Supply.
Thursday alone, King said they sold seven assault rifles. He hasn’t seen those kinds of sales since President Obama was in office.
“People put 10 and 12 of them on their credit card in fear that they’re going to get them taken away from them and they don’t want that to happen,” said King.
During the 2016 election, King said, gun manufacturers expected another big run on assault rifles, if Hillary Clinton was elected President.
“When we were all surprised in the November elections, all of a sudden, there was a plethora of AR-15’s and the market was kind of soft,” he said.
The so-called Trump Slump has really hurt the gun industry.
Remington Firearms, which has been around for 200 years, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February.
Ironically, President Trump may not be introducing volatility back into the gun market.
“We've got to stop this nonsense, it's time,” said President Trump.
The remark came in a bipartisan meeting this week. The President also told lawmakers he would be fine with seizing guns from dangerous criminals and figuring out the legality later.
“It is not going to happen and should not happen,” said Senator Roy Blunt.
As for what Congress might do, Sen. Blunt said he would be open to changes if his “Fix NICS” bill that punishes federal agencies for not reporting crimes to the National Criminal Background Check System.
“I’d be for that bill to be fully amendable and see what else has a majority of senators that could be added to it,” said Blunt.
King said, he’s in favor of strengthening existing laws instead of creating new ones, but admits in the meantime, all of this talk of legislation is great for business.
“Because all of those 400 dollar guns will be bought immediately and then sometimes the last thing that’s out there is the 4,000 dollar gun and if they really want one, that’s the one they’ll get,” he said.
King believes, we’ll continue to see higher AR-15 sales for as long as there is uncertainty as to what the President or Congress might due about gun control.