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Having just returned from the crazitude that is the SHOT Show, I can personally attest to the health of the firearm business. Mile upon mile of exhibitors and over 60,000 convention-goers pushed, shoved and elbowed for access to the gun makers’ latest and greatest. And while it may have been cool to get your picture taken with the Gunny at the Glock booth, all those gawkers and old fat guys taking up precious walking space while they cruised on their Rascals were there to buy. . .

By all accounts – including the NSSF’s – the firearms industry is one of the true, unalloyed bright spots in an otherwise persistently crappy economy. And everyone from Hornady to H&K, from KICK-EEZ to Kahr and from Cor-Bon to Colt has one man to thank for all of the wealth creation the industry has enjoyed in the last three plus years – Barack Obama.

Sure, a lot of the higher profile companies actively and publicly support the NRA and, by extension, second amendment rights advocacy. And sure, the vast majority of people walking the Sands Convention Center aisles would have avoided an Obama 2o12 booth – had the President’s flacks had the balls to set one up – like Kirstie Alley avoids mirrors.

But that’s the gunmakers’ public stance. Privately, being the rational economic beings they surely must be, it’s hard to avoid the suspicion that they’d like nothing better than to see four more years. And in this new post-Citizens United world of super pacs, it’s certainly possible for big gunmakers (and even the smaller ones) to put legally unlimited amounts of their money right where their financial interests lie.

Of course, the super pacs are required to disclose who contributes to them. Eventually. Most will be able to remain technically compliant with election laws and still delay publishing their contributor lists until after November 6. And the news – whenever it’s released – that the Zic-Zac Corporation, parent of BigShot Firearms, Inc. contributed to Priorities USA Action might tend to alienate potential future gun buyers.

So the question is, whether their employees and customers are pro-2A or not, will those with a vested interest in the continued health and growth of the gun business support – morally or financially – the reelection effort? Would they risk the PR blowback that news of that support would elicit from a majority of their customer base? Would they be that duplicitous?

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  1. I’ve personally looked through several politicians’ list of campaign contributors and you’d be surprised that almost everybody seems to be playing both sides. It’s pretty much the same rationale and strategy as a diversified investment portfolio. In many cases it is a diversified investment portfolio.

  2. Yeah, you can’t fault big companies for playing both sides of the aisle, it’s just the way business has to be done. If you only give to the people who are ostensibly on your side, when the other side wins eventually, they’ll see you as a no-lose target.

      • This is the hot trend in American politics – thought disconnected from reality. People state absurdities that they know are absurdities because it generates a pleasing emotional response in themselves and their listeners.

        The Obama Administration was never a threat to 2nd Amendment rights or gun ownership in America. That’s why the NRA is flogging that threat like a two-dollar crack whore.

        • The Obama Administration was never a threat to 2nd Amendment rights or gun ownership in America.

          Right, and John Wayne Gacy was never a threat to teenage boys. Obama blew his political capital on Obamacare, alienated too much of America, got a bunch of his own party defeated and has to stay “under the radar” on gun control because of it.

          Wait until Obama II, when he has nothing to lose. Then he’ll go back to his Joyce Foundation roots.

          • Sure. “Wait for it, you’ll see!”

            That’s what we heard in 2008. That’s what we’ve been hearing for over three years now. At what point will you be willing to consider that perhaps the conspiracy theories are wrong and the actual legislative results are right?

            • Er, never? The ‘dopamine hit’ of shared emotional experience is too precious in our modern world. Let’s face it, work sucks, the kids are idiots and the wife’s ass is spreading like the damn crabgrass. Boring! Who wouldn’t prefer to be a manly target of a vast conspiracy of powerful forces?

              PS – I love my guns.

            • DaveL, despite the fact that Obama had just a few short years to establish his reputation, being an amateur and all, his record on gun control is obvious, as is his connection with the Joyce Foundation. Read. Educate yourself. Learn.

              • Obama’s record indicates nothing more or less than that’s his every move is carefully calibrated to the direction of the political winds. His record in Illinois was anti-gun because that’s what plays in Illinois – what, did you think they had those laws because a leftist junta staged a coup d’etat? [Edited to douse flame war.]

              • “His record in Illinois was anti-gun because that’s what plays in Illinois – what, did you think they had those laws because a leftist junta staged a coup d’etat?”


                Wait, so it’s OK that he was anti-gun as long as he didn’t REEEEEAAALLY mean it…?

                A person who can be swayed so easily on the fundamentals of the constitution is a threat to ALL rights not just the second. Would it be OK if he sanctioned the un-lawful arrest of peaceful protesters who are in complete accordance with the law simply because they were a nuisance and the olitical winds didn’t favor them? Would it be OK if he shut down every newspaper that spoke I’ll of him(few and far between), as long as most of the politicos were fine with it? You seem to have a pretty sparse knowledge of the people’s rights.

        • “The Obama Administration was never a threat to 2nd Amendment rights or gun ownership in America.”

          Wait until the second Term. Once Obama does not have to worry about a re-election, the anti-gun legislation will roll out. Here are a few things that are are already drafted and ready to roll:

          1. Assault weapon bans
          2. High cap mag bans
          3. Close the so-called “gun show loophole” which is to say that all used gun sales will require papaerwork and background check, etc.

          • Possibilities and probabilities. It has always been possible for the Obama administation to aggressively pursue an anti-gun agenda. His past record is clear on where he stands. If he is elected for a sencond term it will be highy probable the anti-gun legislation will be rolled out.

            • To what end? If the Republicans control the House and the Senate, the worst Obama could do would be to crank-up ATF regs. As the ATF’s getting its hat handed to it in the Fast and Furious debacle, I don’t see that they have much room to maneuver. Some, but not a lot. Besides, after the assault weapons ban backfired on Gore, the Democrats know better than to go all gun control. It’s become the third rail of American politics. And rightly so.

              • Agreed. Republicans currently control both houses, and that’s unlikely to change for a few years, at least. That will limit the scope of anything he tries to do dramatically, if he tries to do anything at all.

                I posted in another thread about a week ago about everyone at my latest gun show using the “Obama’s gonna get reelected and this [xxx] will be banned, so get it now” schtick. I didn’t believe it then, and I don’t believe it now.

                That does not, however, mean that I’m not paying attention to what’s going on.

                Always vigilant, ever watchful…

                …but I’m not blowing my savings account in a panic.

              • I misspoke. In my head that was originally intended to be an “if” statement.

                My rhetoric got the better of me, my apologies.

              • I think there are enough Republicans that would sign an assault weapon ban, high-cap mag ban, etc. They are not all card-carrying NRA members.

      • Which shows you that the NRA is not really about 2nd amendment rights (any institution which is serious about constitutional rights should be a nonprofit like the ACLU or the CalGuns Foundation), but extracting membership fees from paranoids who think the government is one-step away from sending in the black helicopters.

        Obama and the current crop of democrats have been no friend to the gun control crowd. But they have been a friend to the NRA: a convenient but actually toothless boogie-man to frighten the NRA members into giving more money but without having to actually spend any fighting legislation.

        Heck, a congresswoman and 14 others were injured, a federal judge and 5 other killed by a mental case assassin with a Glock 19 with a 30 round magazine, with said nutcase only stopped when he fumbled his attempt to reload, and even feel-good useless legislation like another 10 year ban on manufacturing over 10 round magazines (set to not-to-go-into-effect for 2 years so that all the makers can sell a ton now and make MORE money) doesn’t hit the floor of the house.

      • I’ll betcha the NRA is rooting secretly for Obama. He’s the best thing to happen to them for a long time.

        Same for the gun makers. Good post and a good topic.

        • I disagree. That would be pretty stupid on their part, and here’s why:

          The trend in gun sales right now is the modern sporting rifle. Do you think that they would want to take the chance to end that cash cow completely, even if it meant one year of great sales? If you think that, then you are as bad at business as you are statistics.

        • Actually as long as a Mike B roams the airwaves somewhere there will always be a need for the NRA and related organizations.
          The difference between them and most of these orgs is they aren’t trying to force anything, they stand for being left alone and respecting rights we already have.

          • That “trying to force anything” can work both ways. You say we’re trying to force gun control on you and we say you’re trying to force gun rights on us.

            I know that tricky argument you like so much which says, if I don’t want to own a gun then I don’t have to. But that’s not the point. What you want to do is force me to trust that you so-called lawful and responsible gun owners are in fact lawful and responsible. Sometimes you’re not.

            So, you’re the one forcing us to accept something we find unacceptable. Or, I suppose you could say each of us is trying to force the other.

            • Yes well that argument was lost when the Second Amendment was passed. If you don’t like it, have it repealed. (Be careful, most lobbying groups must be registered in the U.S.)

            • Nobody is trying to force anything on you, stop being such a paranoid conspiracy theorist. You can do whatever you want. Most people would not carry if allowed, in legal areas the rate hovers around five percent of the eligible population. So the paranoid delusional ravings about 30 guns coming out causing a massacre instead of just a mugging are just that. And sometimes car owners are irresponsible and kill people with their cars. Doctors, crane operators, pilots, cars, knives, rope, chairs, glass bottles, metal of any kind, etc, all should be illegal because all kill more people in this country every year than guns in the hands of law abiding citizens.

      • Couple points on the NRA nod.

        1: Obama is not the Democratic Party. The NRA has come out pretty strong against Obama, especially after F&F broke. They still give money to pro-gun dems. The two are not mutually exclusive.

        2: The NRA is not a corporation, it is an interest group. Gun companies are not the same thing as gun rights groups, although there is some overlap. Companies have to make money, the NRA doesn’t (though you wouldn’t know it from the robocalls I get).

  3. I think gun reseller are hoping for more Hope and Change. Especially those sitting on inventory of black rifles. Waiting for your shelves to appreciate in value is a time honored tradition of gun sales.
    Before the last ban expired they were desperate to sell off the guns. At a gun show I visited there was all this talk about an extension and new taxes, and so forth. So Buy Now! before they act.
    It was a pleasure to buy an AR15 for 600 dollars that was going for 800 or 900 a year earlier when the ban came down. I got one marked Law Enforcement or Military Use Only to remember the ban by.

  4. Only if they’re too short-sighted to do the smart thing. Obama has said many times that he wants to renew, strengthen, and make permanent the AWB (at the very least) – but due to needing to get re-elected, he’s let that slide for now after pissing off everyone with Obamacare and his failed stimulus package. If he gets a second term, it’s highly unlikely that he won’t try to cram gun control down our throats like he did with Obamacare. Sadly, if Mitt Romney wins, we’ll probably get the same gun control crammed down our throats.

    • If he doesn’t have Congress, then it really don’t matter what he wants or doesn’t want. But if he’s in office, then the fact that he wants these things is a useful driver of sales. So the combo of Obama in office and a Republican Congress is the the true winner in terms of profits.

      • He still has the ability to use Executive Orders – just like his Executive Order to ban the M1 Garands & carbines from being brought back from South Korea.

          • Didn’t people use to think that about another leader of a supposedly Democratic nation? I seem to remember that turning out badly for them. What was his name…. had a mustache, slicked down hair, wore a lot of brown and like to shout…….

  5. Gun manufcturers are rooting for Obama like doctors are rooting for yellow fever. Not a chance, pal, not a chance.

  6. Nonsense. In Business you are either growing or dying. What firearm manufacturer is going to invest capital in growing their business only to have it presented with the uncertainty that a second Obama term would represent. Even when the first Obama “bubble” hit, manufacturers were very hesitant to increase capacity on account of potential additional regulation making that added capacity a very poor investment. No company worth its salt is short sighted enough to silently hope for another Obama bubble’s temporary gain, only to see their products declared illegal in the long run. I also submit, that the Heller case had a tremedous impact on the last 8 quarters for the firearm industry.

    • The number one impetus for the improvement in gun sales has been the changeover from “may issue (but probably not)” to “shall issue.”

      There was a lot of pent-up demand for the product, but it had been denied to most Americans. Once the legal barriers dropped, demand began to rise. Heller, McDonald, Obama etc. accelerated a demand curve that started slowly building a long time before.

      Let’s face it. We’re Americans. We love our guns.

  7. The jackpot is Obama as President to drive sales with a Republican Congress to keep him from actually implementing anything.

    With the right manipulation, you could pass and get HR822 signed.

  8. Time for my serious post.

    I doubt that gun makers are doing much of anything to get the current president re-elected. I don’t doubt that more than a few RETAIL gun sellers might enjoy being able to keep their profit margins high for a bit longer, but the manufacturing industry should have a longer view. In this set of comments, I see a lot of conflating the gun industry, the gun sellers, and the gun rights organizations. These three entities are all interrelated, but are separate and distinct. Their interests may often coincide, but not all the time. Ruger is not the NRA is not Wal-Mart. Learn the difference. And Mike, your counter-conspiracy mongering is as tiresome as that of those trying to sell me things. And less understandable.

  9. I can’t imagine supporting Obama would be worth the risk. Just look at what happened to S&W after they made a deal with the devil(Clinton). Or the CEO of Montana firearms.

    • They didn’t support Obama the first time, they just raked in the profits off the hysteria his election generated.

  10. Ignorance is definitely more common than common sense.

    The NRA and right-wingers LOVE to make Obama out to be the guy that’s gonna take your guns. That way you send more money to the NRA and vote against your own economic well-being by voting Republican.

    The Republicans prey on the feeble-minded, using only three words: God, Guns, and Gays. And it’s all bullshit.

  11. This whole Obama anti-gun BS is just a slick marketing plan to sell
    more guns and raise the price of ammo. Trust me, Ruger, Smith &
    Wesson, Sig Sauer, Colt, Taurus, etc. etc. etc. are praying for 4
    more years of Obama. It’s all about money.

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