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Obama could be the best thing that’s happened to gun sales

June 19, 2015, 2:22 PM UTC
Inside the National Rifle Association (NRA) Annual Meetings & Exhibits
Revolvers sit on display in the Smith & Wesson booth on the exhibition floor of the 144th National Rifle Association (NRA) Annual Meetings and Exhibits at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S., on Saturday, April 11, 2015. Top Republican contenders for their party's 2016 presidential nomination are lining up to speak at the annual NRA event, except New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who were snubbed by the country's largest and most powerful gun lobby. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Daniel Acker — Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Obama is for stricter gun control. Following tragedies such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012, he has proposed banning certain types of “military-style assault weapons” and expanding the reach of background checks for prospective gun buyers.

He hasn’t, however, had any success getting these types of proposals turned into actual laws, due in part to fierce opposition in Congress. But it would seem that the nuances of our constitutional system are lost on a large portion of gun buyers, who flocked to arm themselves after both the 2008 and 2012 elections, according to Business Insider.

Here’s a chart that shows the volume of background checks that are submitted to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS. The chart can be seen as a proxy for gun demand:

 

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You can see from the chart that gun demand is increasing, and that it has spiked pretty dramatically after the previous two presidential elections. As Business Insider’s Sam Ro points out: “To be clear, gunmakers don’t benefit from tighter gun control. They benefit when there are talks of tighter gun control but those talks go nowhere.”

Gun buyers probably should have known that actual gun control laws had little chance of being passed into law, given the Republican Party’s iron-clad grip on Congress in recent years.