Obama Gun Control? Economic Implications of Banning Firearms


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Can Obama balance the economic implications of addressing firearms access? Image credit: Mateusz Atroszko

Is an Obama gun ban in the works – and can the economy handle tighter gun control laws?

In light of the tragedy in Connecticut last week, pressure is mounting for Obama to reform and tighten policies surrounding firearms supply and control – but guns are big business in the United States.

Any renegotiation of policy will need to be a careful balancing act, if President Obama wants to avoid the significant economic implications of limiting gun sales.

Gun Purchases: How Much is Spent on Firearm Sales in U.S.?

The gun industry is a large and thriving retail sector in America that, without government intervention, looks set to continue to grow.

Figures released by the FBI earlier this year showed that 16.5 million background checks on potential firearms purchasers were carried out in 2011 – that’s 2 million more than were requested in 2010.

Record numbers of guns, 10.8 million, were bought in the same year, 14% more than in 2010.

Prices of firearms vary enormously, with some models available for as little as $100, and others retailing for thousands. Whatever the cost of the millions of guns purchased, the figures point to the firearms industry being worth billions of dollars every year.

Speaking entirely of legally-owned guns: 270 million registered firearms are held by civilians in the America (that’s a staggering 89 guns for every 100 people), and every one of those has been purchased, licensed, and taxed – which means that they contributed to the American economy.

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