More and more Americans approve of gun ownership these days, and they’re buying more, too.
Official numbers on gun sales from 2013 are in and the U.S. firearms industry is healthy as its ever been, with the recent surge in gun sales resulting in more than 10.8 million firearms made in 2013 alone. That’s double the total from 2010, according to this story on washingtontimes.com.
That surge in 2013 came in the first full year after the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, resulting in a push for more gun control and stricter laws in several states like New York, Maryland, Connecticut, and California.
“The surge in firearms sales in 2013 reflects both a long-term upward trend in shooting sports participation and a particular concern that year that law-abiding gun owners and those interested in purchasing a firearms for the first time could face tougher restrictions affecting access to and selection of firearms,” said Mike Bazinet, a spokesman for the NSSF.
Though laws in the previously mentioned states have gotten tougher, especially regarding magazine capacities and restrictions on MSRs, efforts on the part of President Obama failed at the federal level in 2013. Obama then signed more than two dozen executive orders and memos tweaking federal enforcement priorities.
Consider these numbers: from 2001 to 2007, gun production held steady at between 3 million and 4 million units a year. That figure grew to 5.6 million in 2009 and then spiked to 8.6 million guns in 2012 and a record 10.8 million in 2013.
It seems obvious that Americans interested in owning firearms are reacting to the possibility of tougher gun control laws on the horizon by buying more. However, John R. Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, said polling shows a fundamental shift in attitudes, with American increasingly believing that the right to bear arms must be protected and increasingly seeing guns as a way to make homes safer, rather than as a potential danger in and of themselves.
Two good measures of the nation’s growing affinity for guns are firearms sales and the number of concealed carry permits issued. In 2008, 8.9 million guns were sold. In 2013, that number rose to 15 million.
The number of concealed carry permits have tripled over the past few years. In California, a state with some of the strictest gun laws in the country, there were about 70,000 people licensed to carry in 2014, with 15,000 to 20,000 more applications pending.
Nationally, concealed carry permits have grown from 4.6 million in 2007 to more than 12 million today, Lott said.