President Obama announced executive actions Tuesday, intended to curtail gun violence. But if history is any guide, the president’s effort may have the unintended effect of boosting gun sales — 2015 was a banner year.
“After San Bernardino, our business went up probably 50 percent,” John Lamplugh, who has run gun shows in Maryland and Pennsylvania for more than three decades, said, referring to the recent shooting in California. “It’s either two things: They’re scared and need to protect [themselves]. Or they’re afraid that [the government is] going to take it from them. There’s the two things that drive our business.”
According to the Congressional Research Service, there are roughly twice as manyguns per capita in the United States as there were in 1968: more than 300 million guns in all.
Gun sales have increased in recent years. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. gun-makers produced nearly 11 million guns in 2013, the year after the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre. That’s twice as many as they made in 2010.
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