Analysts both inside and outside the industry say firearms enthusiasts are no longer spurred to buy because of fears of a gun crackdown — the major contributing factor, they said, to a massive surge in sales during the Obama administration.
With President Trump in office, even renewed media attention to gun control in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in February has not been enough to scare gun owners into stocking up.
“That fear dissipated with Mr. Trump being elected — hence, a big fall in 2017 and it’s a continuation of that fall,” said Jurgen Brauer, the chief economist at Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting, a research firm.
Robert Spitzer, a professor at SUNY-Cortland who has written extensively about the politics of gun control, also suspects longer-term demographic trends at play in the sluggish sales.
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