Gun-friendly Trump may be slowing gun sales

Posted at 2:08 PM, Apr 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-30 15:42:38-04

Even during his candidacy, President Trump was seen as a gun-friendly candidate.

He picked up the National Rifle Association's endorsement at the 2016 NRA convention.

As Trump spoke to the NRA on Friday, there was some evidence his friendly stance towards gun owners may be leading to slowing sales.

It is well documented that when gun owners feel their 2nd Amendment rights are threatened, gun sales skyrocket.

Gun sales had risen consistently throughout President Obama's eight years.

Sales of guns themselves are not tracked at the federal level, and certain states don't require a federal background check if the buyer already has a concealed carry permit, but the number of background check applications is a good indicator of current gun sales rates.

2016 was a record year for background checks.

According to numbers from the FBI, applications for background checks have fallen since Trump's election to March of this year, and overall in the first quarter of 2017, by about 10 percent.

Ryan McGonigal is an NRA-certified safety instructor in Colorado, who says his workload has stayed consistent into this year, despite expectations it would slow down into spring.

"It's the residual from the last administration, I believe," McGonigal said. "People were buying firearms, buying firearms, buying firearms and now they want to get trained."

McGonigal says current events also drive gun sales. He says after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando last year, safety instructors were booked solid with people wanting to get a concealed carry permit.