Nearly six months into President Trump's term, the industry is still finding its way adjusting to the "new normal." Prior to Election Day 2016, almost all the talking heads predicted a sweeping Hillary Clinton victory--but as we all now know, voters had something else in mind. With Trump's victory and a continued Republican-controlled Congress, Washington, D.C. (and many states) experienced a pro-gun sweep for the most part.
As relief swept the gun culture and the gun owners' civil rights community, pro-gun activists like Miguel Gonzalez at www.gunfreezone.net encouraged us all to sip a well-deserved cup of schadenfreude. That tasty satisfaction at the defeat of one's enemies still delights, but NRA-ILA and others (including Gonzalez) have wisely encouraged us all to press our advantage for more pro-gun victories--and to welcome new customers to the industry.
But something else has happened. The desperate "last chance" need to buy desirable semi-auto firearms for personal-and home-defense has seen its driving force soften in recent months. Across the country, sales of such guns, notably centerfire MSRs, have decreased.
I chatted with one gun shop owner who sighed, "I had stocked up on dozens and dozens of black rifles. It looks as if they're going to stay in the vault for a lot longer than I thought. I don't care, though. This is a whole lot better than what we would have faced in the long run if Hillary Clinton had been elected and allowed to pack the Supreme Court with people who shared her agenda."
Owner Operator, Cedar Valley Outfitters
His opinion seemed to be shared by most of the gun retailers I spoke with at the SHOT Show in January 2017.
Impact On Suppressors
The "gun owner schadenfreude-to-complacency" factor has struck in the suppressor market. Sales of NFA firearms and gear had been accelerating greatly prior to the November 2016 election--like short-barrel rifles (SBRs) and especially, sound suppressors. Since then, many dealers who work in this area have told me sales are down. A large part of it seems to be the belief the Hearing Protection Act (H.R.367) currently awaiting action in Washington, D.C, making silencers legal for sale over the counter without BATFE paperwork, would save the $200 licensing fee and through economy of scale, make the suppressors themselves cheaper.
The "legalization" of suppressors is by no means a done deal. Nonetheless, in a...