Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The economics of gun control

The article mentions that gun ownership is on the rise while violent crime has been dropping.

On Sunday, December 6, President Obama addressed the citizens of the United States from the Oval Office in response to the horrific attacks in San Bernardino, California just a few days earlier.

In addition to outlining strategies for defeating radical Islamists abroad, the President also called for tighter gun control measures at home, noting the assault rifles used by the San Bernardino murderers.

Whether in response to the attacks themselves, or to the growing chorus for further gun control, headlines of record gun sales and permit applications quickly appeared around the nation.

Industry trends

The gun and ammunition manufacturing industry in the United States earns collective annual revenues of approximately $13 billion, and that figure stands to rise in the years ahead.

Over the past five years, the industry has seen its share of volatility as incredible consumer sales surges followed high profile shootings and the associated calls for enhanced gun control legislation. At the same time a slowdown in military sales occurred as US war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan slowed and sequestration reduced military budgets.

Still, overall personal firearms ownership is on the rise. After a record setting year in 2013 in which more than 21 million background checks were performed, the FBI’s National Instant Background Check System’s (NICS) current numbers indicate that 2015 is on track to eclipse that amount. Even before the California terrorist attacks, the NICS shattered its Black Friday record after breaking records for six consecutive months through October of this year.

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