Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Associated Press Handgun Prediction Premature?

Thursday, April 19, 2001

On April 14, an AP headline claimed, "Handgun industry dying in the U.S. - Sales are down and are not expected to improve". As evidence, AP noted, "Combined production for domestic and overseas handgun sales tumbled 52 percent from 1993 to 1999," according to "the latest data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms." (AP assumed that handgun production tracks precisely and concurrently with new handgun sales figures.)

AP`s article is misleading because it compares the number of handguns produced today for the civilian market (handguns manufactured and not exported, plus those imported) to the number in 1993, when handgun production reached what was, at that point, an all-time high. After averaging 2 million annually for the previous 10 years, handgun production spiked to 3.7 million in 1993, a figure more than 80% higher than the previous 10-yr. average.

The reason for the sharp increase in handgun production was public concern over the Brady Act, which in the 1992-1993 time frame was debated fiercely in Congress and covered heavily by the media. To put it simply, people turned out in record numbers to buy handguns, as a hedge against "gun control." The Act took effect on Feb. 28, 1994. Production was even higher in 1994 (3.75 million) as the rush to buy handguns continued. Since that time, however, annual production numbers have been slightly lower than those in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

This is not the first time that handgun production has increased and decreased because of changes in the political climate. Beginning in 1979, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Rep. Peter Rodino (D-N.J.) introduced legislation seeking, among many things, to require prospective handgun buyers to first obtain photo-ID permits-to-purchase from the police, to limit handgun purchases by a person to two per year, and to impose a 21-day waiting period on individual handgun purchases. And after the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan in 1981, new restrictions on handguns appeared more likely. In the five years before the Kennedy-Rodino legislation was introduced, handgun production had averaged 2 million per year, while between 1979-1982 production averaged 2.5 million per year, and in the following five years averaged only 1.8 million annually.

If AP erred in failing to explain fully handgun production statistics, it was somewhat more successful in identifying factors responsible for the trend, citing "market saturation" (discussed above) and the recent decrease in crime, noting that self-defense is the primary reason that people buy handguns.

However, AP suggested that handgun purchases have decreased because of restrictions imposed by the Brady Act. In fact, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, only a small percentage of attempts to purchase firearms are rejected because of criminal record checks mandated by the Brady Act (See www.ojp.usdoj.gov./bjs/abstract/phc98.htm). And the number of privately owned firearms increased by 37 million between 1993-1999 (BATF, Crime Gun Trace Reports, 1999, National Report, 11/00). AP also cited a decrease in the number of small firearm dealers without noting that such dealers accounted for only a small share of gun sales.  Without basis, AP suggested that handgun sales may be down because of disgust over "shooting rampages." In fact, public reaction to such crimes has not been anti-gun, but instead has favored better enforcement of laws, better parenting, and less violence in the entertainment industry.

IN THIS ARTICLE
Handguns
TRENDING NOW
Biden Administration Bans Importation of Russian Ammunition

News  

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Biden Administration Bans Importation of Russian Ammunition

The Biden Administration’s Department of State announced that it will soon prohibit the importation of Russian ammunition into the United States. According to a release on the Department of State’s website, “[n]ew and pending permit applications ...

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.

Virginia: Terry McAuliffe Wants to Ban Guns, Register Gun Owners, and Restrict Carry

News  

Monday, October 18, 2021

Virginia: Terry McAuliffe Wants to Ban Guns, Register Gun Owners, and Restrict Carry

Virginians are increasingly exercising their Second Amendment rights. NICS Checks in the commonwealth were up more than 60-percent from 2019 to 2020. From 2019 to 2021 there was a 21-percent increase in the number of ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Monday, June 30, 2014

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.

NYSRPA Case Exposes Biden’s Anti-Second Amendment Bias, Vindicates Opposition to Garland

News  

Monday, October 18, 2021

NYSRPA Case Exposes Biden’s Anti-Second Amendment Bias, Vindicates Opposition to Garland

Further evidence of Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland’s contempt for the Second Amendment has emerged in recent weeks.

Idaho: Governor Little Signs Permitless Carry Expansion Legislation into Law

Friday, March 27, 2020

Idaho: Governor Little Signs Permitless Carry Expansion Legislation into Law

On Wednesday, Governor Brad Little signed important self-defense legislation, House Bill 516.  This permitless carry expansion legislation was sent to the Governor’s desk prior to the Legislature adjourning last week.

The View Doesn’t Appreciate a Right

News  

Monday, October 18, 2021

The View Doesn’t Appreciate a Right

Women, and especially black women, are increasingly buying firearms for self-defense. This reality did not sit well with the hosts of a somehow still-running daytime talk show.

DOJ Releases Biden Gun Confiscation Order Legislation

News  

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

DOJ Releases Biden Gun Confiscation Order Legislation

DOJ has made clear that Garland’s selective definition of “civil rights” has no room for the Second Amendment...

Anti-gunners Launch Campaign to Intimidate U.S. Supreme Court as Second Amendment Case Looms

News  

Monday, October 11, 2021

Anti-gunners Launch Campaign to Intimidate U.S. Supreme Court as Second Amendment Case Looms

For many decades, gun control proponents who saw their fortunes wane in legislatures from coast to coast and who were unable to get traction with Congress could at least console themselves with the thought that ...

Ohio: Senate Committee Hearing Constitutional Carry & Emergency Powers Bills

Monday, October 4, 2021

Ohio: Senate Committee Hearing Constitutional Carry & Emergency Powers Bills

Tomorrow, the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee is holding a second proponent testimony hearing for Senate Bill 215, the constitutional carry bill. In addition, Senate Bill 185, to guarantee that Second Amendment rights remain protected ...

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.