Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News Second Amendment

Trump Slump? More Fake News Appears In Mainstream Media

Monday, February 26, 2018

Trump Slump? More Fake News Appears In Mainstream Media

This article appeared in March's America's First Freedom

At times, the biased media are so eager for a certain result they seem determined to conjure it into existence. For example, journalists and commentators spent much of 2016 declaring that Donald Trump’s candidacy for president was over. Similarly, at points in the past five decades reporters have declared NRA’s demise. In 1993, Rolling Stone crowed that NRA was “on the run” and in 1996 excitedly asked “Is the end near for the NRA?” Those pronouncements proved so astute that The Washington Post and Bloomberg News were able to write similar assertions in 2016. Of late, these inept observers have busied themselves writing obituaries for the American gun industry.

According to these folks, firearms sales are in a “Trump slump.” The story goes that with Trump in the White House, Americans are less fearful of new gun control than they were under President Barack Obama or at the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency. As a result, citizens are buying fewer firearms, secure in the knowledge that Trump will not make it harder for them to do so in the future.

There is a kernel of truth in this narrative. When threatened with further restrictions, Americans do ramp up their gun buying. In late 2012 and early 2013, as the Obama administration and other anti-gun politicians like Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., pushed legislation to criminalize the private transfer of firearms and ban commonly owned semi-automatics, gun sales exploded. The number of National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) checks—a rough indicator of gun sales—performed by the FBI in January 2013 was more than 1 million greater than the same month a year earlier. Faced with the prospect of another Clinton presidency, gun owners acted similarly. The year 2016 was a record year for gun sales, with 27.5 million NICS checks.

This can also be seen at the state level. The day Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced she had unilaterally reinterpreted state law to ban certain types of semi-automatic rifles, 2,531 semi-automatic rifles were sold in the state. According to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety, the previous record for a single day was 140. Starting with California’s ban on semi-automatics in 1989, that state has experienced successive waves of gun-control-induced buying. In 2017, California retailers reported a sharp increase in ammunition sales in anticipation of a new vendor-licensing law and point-of-sale background checks on purchasers.

Given this history, it was reasonable to expect that in 2017 gun sales might come off of their record highs. However, to read the mainstream press, Trump is a mortal threat to the firearm industry. According to CNN, “Trump is taking a toll on the gun industry.” The Nation contends, “gun sales are plummeting.” Fortune magazine claimed that there is a “massive gun sales decline.”

This isn’t the case. Despite the media’s rhetoric, 2017 was second only to 2016 in the number of NICS checks conducted in a given year, with more than 25 million. The number of NICS checks for May and August 2017 set all-time records for those months. Moreover, Nov. 24, 2017 (Black Friday), set a new single-day record for NICS checks, besting the previous record by more than 17,000.

If the press could expand their myopic worldview, they would recognize that there is a long-term upward trend in gun sales. Remember back in late 2008 and early 2009 when the media was lamenting a wave of “bitter clingers” purchasing guns in the wake of Obama’s victory? In 2009, the FBI conducted just over 14 million NICS checks, 10 million fewer than in 2017. As anti-gun politicians targeted gun owners in January 2013, The New York Times wailed, “Sales of Guns Soar in U.S. as Nation Weighs Tougher Limits.” Despite the record-breaking NICS numbers in 2013, that year’s total would be bested in three of the following four years.

Rather than pose a threat, Trump and his administration have taken vital steps to secure a vibrant future for the American firearm industry. Under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Justice Department has repudiated Operation Choke Point, an Obama-era initiative that deterred banks from doing business with gun sellers. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has worked to preserve hunting opportunities and the use of traditional ammunition on public lands. Moreover, Trump’s pro-Second Amendment judicial nominees will help to ensure our rights are respected for generations to come.

The kind of shoddy reporting that has led to the recent gun sales stories might be why Americans’ trust of the mass media, as measured by Gallup, hit an all-time low in late 2016. One might be tempted to attribute that finding to a media “Trump slump,” were it not for the fact that trust in the press had already been declining for more than a decade.

Chris W. Cox

BY Chris W. Cox

NRA-ILA Executive Director

Follow This Contributor

Chris W. Cox has served as the executive director of the Institute for Legislative Action, the political and lobbying arm of NRA, since 2002. As NRA’s principal political strategist, Cox oversees eight NRA-ILA divisions: Federal Affairs; State & Local Affairs; Public Affairs; Grassroots; Finance; Research & Information; Conservation, Wildlife & Natural Resources; and Office of Legislative Counsel. Cox also serves as chairman of NRA’s Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF), the Association’s political action committee; president of the NRA Freedom Action Foundation (NRA-FAF), which focuses on non-partisan voter registration and citizen education; and chairman of NRA Country, an effort to bring country music artists together with NRA members in support of our Second Amendment freedoms and hunting heritage.

TRENDING NOW
NASCAR Takes a Hard Left

News  

Friday, August 30, 2019

NASCAR Takes a Hard Left

After decades of NASCAR drivers literally turning left for hours every race day (road course races excluded, of course), the governing body appears to be taking a figurative left turn, politically. K-Var, a retailer in outdoor and ...

San Francisco Board of Supervisors Declares NRA a “Domestic Terrorist Organization”

News  

Sunday, September 8, 2019

San Francisco Board of Supervisors Declares NRA a “Domestic Terrorist Organization”

On September 3, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution, “declaring that the National Rifle Association is a domestic terrorist organization and urging other cities, states, and the federal government to do the same.”The resolution was ...

California: Anti-Gun Bills Sent to Governor

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

California: Anti-Gun Bills Sent to Governor

Earlier this week, the California Legislature cast final votes on AB 12, AB 61, AB 879, AB 1254, AB 1297, and AB 1669, which will now move to Governor Newsom's desk for his consideration.  

“Pro-gun” Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Turns on Second Amendment Supporters, Sides With Anti-Gun Lobby

News  

Sunday, September 8, 2019

“Pro-gun” Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Turns on Second Amendment Supporters, Sides With Anti-Gun Lobby

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick uses his political website to claim he is “leading the fight for life and liberty in Texas, including … standing up for the Second Amendment.” He also proudly notes his prior NRA endorsement. But ...

News  

Friday, September 13, 2019

NRA Statement on Texas Governor's Safety Action Report

The National Rifle Association released the following statement on Friday regarding Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's Texas Safety Action Report:   

California Mayor to Tax Law-abiding Gun Owners for the Actions of Criminals

News  

Friday, August 30, 2019

California Mayor to Tax Law-abiding Gun Owners for the Actions of Criminals

This week, San Jose, Calif. Mayor Sam Liccardo took to the pages of the Washington Post to tout a plan to require law-abiding gun owners in his city to purchase firearms insurance. Under the Liccardo proposal, firearms owners ...

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Florida Alert! Are You Ready For Gun Registration?

A Constitutional Amendment calling for an "assault weapons" ban is being proposed for the ballot in 2020.  The definition of "assault weapon," in the amendment, includes ALL semi-automatic rifles and shotguns.  If the amendment goes on the ballot ...

Groovy: Former NY Times Editor Wants to Return to 1960 Gun Laws

News  

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Groovy: Former NY Times Editor Wants to Return to 1960 Gun Laws

Proving once again that ignorance is no bar to publication in the U.S. legacy press, former executive editor of the New York Times Howell Raines has offered his inane take on the current gun control ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Marching Toward Gun Confiscation: Prohibition Advocates Released Unhinged Gun Control Plan

News  

Monday, August 26, 2019

Marching Toward Gun Confiscation: Prohibition Advocates Released Unhinged Gun Control Plan

This week, March for Our Lives – the gun control group that arose in the wake of the criminal mass attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. – released a lengthy plan ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.