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
Urban Myth: Crime Doesn’t Pay – California City Authorizes Stipends to Gang Members

News  

Friday, September 15, 2017

Urban Myth: Crime Doesn’t Pay – California City Authorizes Stipends to Gang Members

In a special meeting on August 29, the nine-member City Council of Sacramento unanimously agreed to allocate $1.5 million in funding and to move forward with a “gun-violence reduction strategy” that will include cash payments ...

National Reciprocity Bill Nears Goal Line in the House but Needs Your Support to Reach the End Zone

News  

Friday, September 15, 2017

National Reciprocity Bill Nears Goal Line in the House but Needs Your Support to Reach the End Zone

Gun owners received good news this week with the passage of the SHARE Act by the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources (see related story). Meanwhile, progress continued to be made on another NRA legislative ...

Reuniting The United States With Reciprocity

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Reuniting The United States With Reciprocity

Most concealed-carry permit holders understand the potential pitfalls of traveling with a firearm, given the outrageous patchwork of state laws involved in even a short interstate trip. And while we haven’t posted much about reciprocity ...

House Committee Passes SHARE Act by Wide Margin

Hunting  

News  

Friday, September 15, 2017

House Committee Passes SHARE Act by Wide Margin

As we have reported, this year’s version of the SHARE Act is the most expansive and far-reaching yet. Besides previously-introduced provisions aimed at enhancing opportunities for hunting, fishing, and shooting and broadening access to federal lands ...

NRA Backed SHARE Act Passes Committee

News  

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

NRA Backed SHARE Act Passes Committee

“Today marks an important step in protecting the Second Amendment freedoms of America’s hunters and sportsmen and strengthening our outdoor heritage,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA. “The SHARE Act will cut burdensome red tape that restricts ...

Bloomberg Spending Millions To Elect Anti-Gun Virginia Governor

News  

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Bloomberg Spending Millions To Elect Anti-Gun Virginia Governor

Billionaire anti-gunner Michael Bloomberg is at it again, pledging to spend $1 million through his gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety in an attempt to impact Virginia’s upcoming elections for governor and attorney general.

Wisconsin: Important Concealed Carry Legislation Scheduled for Committee Vote This Week

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Wisconsin: Important Concealed Carry Legislation Scheduled for Committee Vote This Week

This Tuesday, September 19, Senate Bill 169 is scheduled for a vote during the executive session in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  SB 169 would allow for the concealed carry of a firearm without a concealed carry license ...

NRA Applauds Reintroduction and Expansion of SHARE Act

News  

Hunting  

Friday, September 8, 2017

NRA Applauds Reintroduction and Expansion of SHARE Act

On Sept. 1, U.S. Congressman Jeff Duncan introduced H.R. 3668, the Sportsman’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (SHARE Act), a wide-ranging package of legislation aimed at promoting Second Amendment rights and America’s outdoor sporting traditions.

Washington Post’s Resident Anti-Gun Zealot Parades his Ignorance in SHARE Act Column

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, September 15, 2017

Washington Post’s Resident Anti-Gun Zealot Parades his Ignorance in SHARE Act Column

Dana Milbank is not a serious journalist. A former White House correspondent for the Washington Post, Milbank now writes what can be characterized as a humor column for the paper.

Wisconsin: Constitutional Carry Passes Committee Vote

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Wisconsin: Constitutional Carry Passes Committee Vote

Today, Senate Bill 169 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee with a vote of 3-2.  SB 169 would allow for the concealed carry of a firearm without a concealed carry license anywhere in the state where ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
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.