President Obama has presided over a heyday for the gun industry despite predictions by the powerful U.S. gun lobby four years ago that he would be the “most anti-gun president in American history.” Gun buyers fear that Mr. Obama wants to restrict their purchases, especially if he were re-elected.
An analysis by The Associated Press of data tracking the health of the gun industry shows that sales are on the rise, so much that some gun manufacturers cannot make enough guns 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 lobby, the National Rifle Association, a gun advocacy group, is bursting with cash and political clout. And Washington has expressed little interest in passing new gun laws, despite renewed calls to do so after recent deadly shootings in the states of Colorado and Wisconsin.
Mr. Obama has made no promises to impose new gun control legislation and does not have the support in Congress or among voters even if he did. During this week’s presidential debate, Mr. Obama suggested renewing a U.S. ban on assault weapons and coming up with an overall strategy to reduce violence, but both Mr. Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said the government needs to enforce gun laws already on the books.
“The driver is President Obama. He is 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.
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