How gun control laws and candidates actually help gun sales

Nov 12, 2018, 5:13 PM
Gun sales tend to rise following gun control measures...

The passage of I-1639 has gun sales in Washington quickly rising, a trend that’s become consistent with candidates and ballot measures in favor of gun control.

RELATED: Will Washington’s I-1639 gun control measure face a court challenge?

I-1639 faced significant opposition from pro-gun advocates throughout Washington state as well as nationwide. Now that it’s passed, a $25 fee will be attached to the purchase of any semiautomatic weapon, along with a handful of additional hurdles to boot.

Naturally, this has many scrambling to get ahead of this.

“Do people rush in to go buy a gun now to avoid the $25?” asked John Curley on KIRO Radio. “They probably already thought about buying a gun so this just motivates them to go get one now.”

According to The Seattle Times, gun sellers expect just that, with many anticipating an uptick in sales ahead of I-1639’s implementation in 2019. In terms of the greater gun industry, this follows along with the predominant trends of buyers in different political climates.

“I wonder which candidate ends up selling more guns, the pro-gun candidate or the anti-gun candidate?” asked Tom Tangney.

Historically, the answer has been the former more than the latter. Following the election of Barack Obama in 2008, gun sales grew approximately 158 percent. Conversely, the election of Donald Trump in 2016 saw an immediate dip in sales.

So while most conservative policies presumably seek to make it easier to buy guns, nothing seems to inspire the actual purchase of guns like the threat of gun control policy being enacted.

Moving forward, I-1639 will likely face a court challenge from gun rights activists once it goes into effect, but if history tells us anything, it’s that sales will continue to rise.

John Curley and Shari Elliker on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to tom and curleyTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 3pm for John Curley and Shari Elliker.

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How gun control laws and candidates actually help gun sales