The report by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives comes as Obama has tried to expand background checks and impose new restrictions on guns following massive shootings like the ones in Charleston, S.C. and in an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. in 2012.
“The ATF report confirms what we already know, that Barack Obama deserves the ‘Gun Salesman of the Decade’ award,” said Erich Pratt, spokesman for the Gun Owners of America. “People have been rushing to buy firearms because they’re afraid that Obama will take away their Second Amendment rights.”
Some believe that the increase in the number of gun owners is indicative of the fact that they are concerned about new restrictions on their Second Amendment rights.
However, gun safety advocates say there is “no correlation” between the rise in firearms sales and Obama’s gun policies.
The gun industry is using a “scare tactic” to increase gun sales, said Mark Prentice, spokesman for Americans for Responsible Solutions, which is the gun safety group run by former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who survived a 2011 mass shooting in Tucson.