Gun Companies Are Making Money Off Mass Shootings

As the number of mass shooting increases in America, so do the profits, according to recent studies that show the weapons industry is making money off of the tragedies.

According to Salon, there has been a major surge in gun sales since the Sandy Hook massacre took place three years ago. Mass shootings have only become more common since the incident with more massacres happening in 2015 than any other year.

The New York Daily News reported that the four biggest gun manufacturers in the United States are making money to the tune of $632 million in profits, starting with the Newtown massacre that resulted in the death of 20 children — one of the worst mass shootings in history. Profits saw the biggest spike immediately following the Sandy Hook tragedy, which happened on December 14, 2012. The year 2013 brought in some of the biggest profits gun manufacturers had ever seen.

The most recent mass shooting in San Bernardino continued the trend, ensuring that the gun industry is making money at a faster rate than ever. Shortly after the California massacre, Google trends revealed a shocking increase in searches about conceal and carry laws and permits, as well as searches on how to get handguns.

Searches increasing after mass shootings.
"Concealed carry" searches. (Photo via Google Trends)

What is it about mass shootings that make people want to bring even more guns into homes? Why are businesses making money off of death? Experts speculate the spike in gun sales is a direct result of citizens purchasing guns in the hopes of protecting themselves and their families from violence. The more mass shootings that occur, the more people believe they’re likely to be a victim. Thus, major weapons manufacturers are able to make more money in times of public fear.

Gun buying
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)2

This is a particularly interesting trend considering the numerous recent reports that claim owning a gun does not make anyone any safer, and in fact may be more dangerous than owning no guns at all, according to Slate.

“A recent meta-analysis of 16 studies examined the relationship between firearms and gun deaths. Gun ownership doubled the risk of homicide and tripled the risk of suicide.”

The data also suggests that owning a gun doesn’t stop violent crimes from happening, it actually provokes them, according to Live Science.

“We found no support for the hypothesis that owning more guns leads to a drop or a reduction in violent crime,” said Michael Monuteaux, professor at Harvard Medical School. “Instead, we found the opposite.”

Despite those studies, gun industry executives have actually admitted that they are making money off of mass shootings, according to the Intercept.

“You can see after a tragedy, there’s also a lot of buying,” said Jeff Buchanan, the CFO of Smith & Wesson.

“The gun business was very much accelerated based on what happened after the [2012] election and then the tragedy that happened at Sandy Hook,” said Ed Stack, the CEO Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Ed Stack
Ed Stack. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival)

Both of these comments were made at private industry events and were not intended to be revealed to the public.

Ed Stack also admitted that the company was making money off of mass shootings as a result of “panic buying.” This means citizens weren’t just in a rushing to buy guns for safety, they’re also afraid the United States government will suddenly make guns harder to obtain following the tragedy.

Stack also made the disturbing comment that this trend didn’t bring “hunters” into the gun industry, it “brought shooters into the industry.”

Do you think businesses should be making money off of mass shootings and other tragedies?

[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]