Gun control advocates live in a media bubble. After Lois Becket wrote a story in the Guardian that focuses on how gun sales for one company have fallen, the Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham followed up, thinking that anything showing that gun sales are down as great news. While it might be tempting to look at the sales of one or two publicly traded companies, the firearm industry has a large number of very small firms, and looking at one or two companies (even if larger than others) may not give a very good measure of total sales. In the last two paragraphs of Becket’s 17 paragraph article, she has a quote from the National Shooting Sports Foundation saying that sales overall are still strong compared to historical levels.
Becket could have cited the CPRC’s research showing that concealed handgun permits have continued increasing since the election, but that would require some balance in her story. Alternatively, Becket could have shown some numbers on how small the overall reduction in NICS background checks have been during the first seven months of this year. While background checks are down 11% from 2016’s record pace, they are still 19% higher than in 2015 and 13% higher than in 2014 when President Obama was pushing strongly for more gun control. (Open the table in a new tab to enlarge.)