The demand for legal firearms in Chicago continues to grow even as the appetite nationally and in Illinois has fallen significantly in recent months, which gun vendors attribute to the election of President Trump, the Chicago Tribune reports. While gun sales nationwide appear to have dropped from the levels they reached during the Obama years, apparently driven in part by lessened concerns under Trump that access will be restricted, changes in state laws and Chicago’s crime wave have unleashed a pent-up demand for legal gun ownership in the area. Gun suppliers called former President Obama their best salesman, because sales were driven by the belief of impending government regulations. Mass shootings in recent years, such as the massacre of children in Connecticut in 2012, prompted calls for greater gun control but also spikes in sales over fears for safety and concern over such restrictions.
As that fear has moderated with Trump’s election, so too have sales, some vendors say. “We’re holding our own, but the whole firearm industry’s taken a little downturn,” said Tom Dorsch of On Target Range & Tactical Training Center in Crystal Lake, Il. “There’s not that imperative to run out and buy guns, because they’ll be there.” Nationally, federal background checks for gun sales grew to record levels during the Obama administration, more than doubling from about 13 million in 2008, to 27 million last year.