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14 June, 2016

Gun lobbyists describe massacres like Orlando as a “big opportunity”

In recent corporate presentations, leading gun makers celebrated the fact that consumers bought more firearms because of the December terrorist attack in San Bernardino. And, prior to the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando on Saturday night, executives were telling investors to expect another big bump — because of the upcoming elections.

The surge in sales after mass shootings, as we’ve reported, is nothing new: Mass shootings lead to talk of gun control; the National Rifle Association — the gun advocacy group funded significantly by gun and ammunition manufacturers – uses its influence in Congress to block any legislative action; but gun owners, irrationally terrified that the government will restrict or ban firearms, rush out to buy more guns and ammo.

Sturm, Ruger & Co. Chief Executive Michael Fifer, speaking at his company’s annual meeting in May, noted that his company — the largest handgun manufacturer in the U.S. — saw a spike in demand that “was strongly correlated to the tragic terrorist activities in Paris and San Bernardino.” Sales eventually slowed down, but Fifer called that a “big opportunity for the distributors to step up and take on inventory” to be ready for election-related sales.

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