Sales of guns and ammunition in the U.S. have dropped precipitously since Election Day, according to FBI statistics, trade groups, gun shop owners and corporate reports, the apparent result of electing a president who has vowed to protect gun rights, the Washington Post reports. That overall decline has been accompanied by some unusual growth: Gun clubs and shops that cater to black and LGBT clients say there has been moe interest in firearms since November among those who fear that racial and gender-based violence could increase during Donald Trump’s presidency. The slowdown in gun purchases, which came at the end of a record sales year, is due in part to promises that Trump and the Republican Congress made to expand gun rights. Firearms enthusiasts and salesmen said Trump’s victory removed a sense of urgency to buy that some felt under President Obama, who tried to ban the sale of assault-style weapons.
Sales at a Louisiana gun shop the week before the election were among the most brisk the shop had ever seen. Now that Trump, who has National Rifle Association backing, is president, fewer customers are buying, and there is a glut of product. Still, Philip Smith of the National African American Gun Association said his group has seen a recent surge that appears to be driven by fear that the nation’s divisive politics could spiral into violence. “It’s like being racist is cool now,” he said. The group has added 7,000 members since Election Day and new chapters are popping up. Background checks, which are conducted at the request of licensed firearm dealers and retailers when they make sales, dropped from 3.3 million in December 2015 to 2.8 million in December 2016, says the FBI. In January 2017, there were 2 million background checks performed, compared with 2.5 million in January 2016.