The numbers are in for October, and they show a 11% increase from October of last year according to Small Arms Analytics and Forecasting. The figures from September also showed an 11% year-ver-year increase. According to the report, which makes sales estimates based off of raw data from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, “likely single handgun sales (570,370) increased year-over-year by 12.2%, while single long-gun sales (498,117) increased year-over-year by 7.9%. All other likely background check-related sales (90,790) increased year-over-year by 19.7%.
Gun sales tend to rise under Democrat presidents and fall under Republican ones, and the spike in sales this year does interrupt the industry’s trend of slumping sales under Trump. In all likelihood the rhetoric of the Democrats running for president could be responsible for this boost in sales. We’ve seen the mere possibility of gun control following a tragedy reliably boost gun sales, so seeing those threats of gun control on the national stage will certainly do the same.
While no longer in the race, Beto O’Rourke famously told a crowd “hell yes” when asked if he’d be seizing people’s guns, specifically so-called “assault weapons.” When the 2020 candidates took place at a gun violence forum in October, an assault weapons ban was one of two gun control policies that every candidate who participated agreed on (the other being universal background checks, which basically already exists).
As the Washington Examiner noted: Other groups said sales recently spiked as the Democratic presidential race heated up and after Virginia voters gave Democrats control of the state legislature in an election where gun control was a driving issue. “Sales have definitely been brisk, especially of small concealable handguns. We also saw a spike in sales of tactical rifles like AR-15s and AK-47s, for which I think we can confidently thank Beto O’Rourke,” who vowed to take them as a former presidential candidate, said Justin Anderson, the marketing director for Hyatt Guns, a huge seller in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Also on the plus side, none of the 2020 Democrat candidates are going to win the presidency regardless.