The moment President Obama took office, the NRA’s primary product became paranoid theories about how Obama plans to seize gun owners’ guns. Even after Obama served as president for nearly three full years without signing a single new gun regulation — his primary contribution to gun law is a minor bill allowing gun owners to bring loaded guns into national parks — NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre claimed that Obama’s lack of interest in guns is actually a “massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the Second Amendment in our country.”
As it turns out, all this paranoia has been great for gun sales:
An analysis by The Associated Press of data tracking the health of the gun industry shows that sales are on the rise, so much so that some gun manufacturers can’t make enough weapons fast enough. Major gun company stock prices are up. The number of federally licensed, retail gun dealers is increasing for the first time in nearly 20 years. . . . The poor economy, fear of crime and military veterans returning from war who want to keep their shooting skills sharp also may be driving some gun sales. But the general view of analysts and those in the industry is that Obama is the main catalyst.
“The driver is President Obama. He’s the best thing that ever happened to the firearm industry,” said Jim Barrett, an industry analyst at C.L. King & Associates Inc. in New York. . . . For the first time since 1993, the number of federally licensed retail gun dealers in the U.S. increased slightly in 2010 and 2011, as the country added 1,167 more licensed retail gun dealers, according to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives records. After the assault weapons ban in 1994, the number of gun dealerships dropped annually until 2010. As of October 2012, there were 50,812 retail gun dealers – that’s 3,303 more than in 2009.
The NRA endorsed Mitt Romney for president, despite the fact that Romney signed a permanent ban on assault rifles as governor. If they were serious about boosting gun sales, however, they’d be eager to keep the target of their paranoia campaign in the White House.