Anti-gun rhetoric on the campaign trail seems to be helping out gun sellers once again.
A Thursday story at the Washington Free Beacon reports that gun sales from October were up 10 percent over the same month last year, citing numbers from Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting (SAAF) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).
By SAAF's estimation, based on raw data from the FBI's gun background check system, Americans bought 1,159,277 guns last month, representing a 10.8 percent year-over-year increase from October 2018. Meanwhile, the NSSF found that last month reversed a downward trend in October gun sales, which peaked in 2016 just before the last presidential election. SAAF chief economist Jurgen Brauer also noted that the firearms industry has experienced "well-improved sales numbers over the past few months."
The statistics continue a recent trend of increased firearms sales in the months since multiple shooting mass murders over the summer led to renewed calls for gun control in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail.
"The NICS data continues to show us that Americans value their Second Amendment freedoms and ability to participate in the hunting and shooting sports," an NSSF spokesperson told the Free Beacon of the new statistics. "Today's firearms owners continue to vote with their wallets, purchasing the firearms that best suit their needs, whether that is for self-defense, recreational target shooting, or hunting."
An increase in gun sales against a backdrop of calls for new gun control has become an almost assured occurrence in the debate over the Second Amendment in recent years. When politicians start talking about restricting Americans' gun rights, Americans have a habit of going out and acquiring more guns in response. Gun sales surged during the politicized aftermath of the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook and the 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernardino. They also increased during the calls for gun control after the Orlando nightclub shooting.
In fact, record firearm sales during the recurring threat of gun control during the last administration left President Barack Obama with the informal title of the best gun salesman in America or on earth.