The Nation’s Lee Fang wrote this expose: The NRA and Gun Companies Stand to Profit From Newtown Tragedy. Here's a short excerpt:
The Nation: Last year, shortly after the shooting of then-Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, a financial analyst asked Mike Fifer—CEO of one of the largest gun companies in America—if the incident would lead to a wave of new gun sales. “The commentary from the NRA that President Obama might be coming out with some sort of speech on some sort of gun control,” asked the analyst, “has that stirred gun owners and prospective gun owners to go visit the stores?”
Gun companies, like almost any profit-driven enterprise, must keep pace with investor demands … people generally only need to buy their product once … That’s where the National Rifle Association comes in. NRA-stoked fear about the government’s coming to seize America’s guns has been a useful marketing tool to the gun industry … Horrific gun violence leads to calls for gun control, which in turn leads to NRA-organized fear-mongering and conspiracy theories that inevitably results in more gun sales … and the gun industry is earning what is likely to be an unprecedented fortune.
And though the NRA has been roundly mocked for its public relations effort this week, officials are watching what is sure to be a flood of new cash.
Here’s why: For every gun or package of ammunition sold at participating stores, a dollar is donated to the NRA. The NRA’s corporate fundraising division has several special retail partnerships called “Add-A-Buck,” “NRA Round-Up,” and “Shooting for the Future.” In some cases, Sturm, Ruger & Co. require automatic contributions to the NRA with every purchase. This year alone, Midway USA, an ammunition company, has given the NRA $1 million through the Round Up program.
The NRA has become largely beholden to the gun industry … in 2005, when the NRA successfully lobbied for the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, a law that “essentially blocks federal lawsuits brought by municipalities wishing to hold gun manufacturers accountable for the bloodshed their products helped create.” The law ensures gun companies cannot be held liable for the crimes committed with their products, as explained by Jarrett Murphy in the September edition of The Nation.
Warnings that Obama will “take away our guns,” as the NRA’s David Keene warns, have led a rally on Wall Street that has some gun stocks up over 400 percent over the last four years. It’s quite a feat of marketing, since the Obama administration has only deregulated gun ownership over the last four years.