That’s despite one of the highest-profile mass shootings in American history at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, as well as sustained gun control activism, and electoral victories by Democrats who almost uniformly promised to pursue stronger gun laws.In past years, similar factors have bumped firearm sales to record highs. But last year, shootings and demands for gun control failed to arrest what has been called the gun industry’s “Trump slump.”
Americans bought an estimated 13.8 million firearms in 2018, according to Brauer. That’s still historically strong: in only five of the last 20 years have American bought more guns than they did the previous year. But the 2018 total is down from an all-time high of 16.6 million guns sold in 2016 and 14.7 million in 2017. Few observers were surprised when sales fell during the first year of the Trump administration: With pro-gun Republicans at the height of their power at both the federal and state level, the gun-buying public had reason to believe the president and Congress would block new firearm laws, even after the Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs massacres.
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