This is an interesting graphic from the New York Times charting gun sales for the last fifteen years. The tallies come from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The NYT article posits that firearms sales increase sharply after talk of gun control, as happened in December.
I think these numbers show how serious Americans are about exercising and maintaining their Second Amendment rights. In 2014, handgun sales exceeded long gun sales for the first time in the U.S. To me, this is indicative of people purchasing personal self-defense firearms rather than sporting arms. The trends speak to our citizens’ waning sense of safety and security.
Gun sales spiked in late 2008 and late 2012, both years when Obama was elected. The most recent increase began when the President said he would take unilateral executive action on gun control. I expect we will see another buying surge later this year when there will undoubtedly be more talk of gun control from both parties prior to the general election.
Graphic: The New York Times