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NRA victories sell guns and invite opposition

The Trayvon Martin case may build support for gun control, even as gun lobby celebrates changes in state laws. Here, an NRA member looks over the Taurus pistol display at the National Rifle Association of America's annual meeting in Louisville, Ky.

Jeremy Hobson: Well here in this country, we've all heard a lot about the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida and that state's Stand Your Ground Law, that allows people to use force if they feel threatened. Well today in St. Louis, that law will come under the spotlight as the National Rifle Assocation holds its annual convention.

Marketplace's Mitchell Hartman reports.


Mitchell Hartman: The NRA has pushed Stand Your Ground laws in more than 30 states. Wisconsin recently expanded ‘self-defense’ to include a vehicle, swimming pool or business.

The NRA spent about $100,000 lobbying there. Lisa Graves of the Center for Media and Democracy says the NRA has an impressive war chest.

Lisa Graves: But I think the NRA’s potency is really more the potential for it to run ads against candidates who don’t go along with the gun agenda.

The NRA may face a battle to defend Stand Your Ground laws. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence told me their public support is up.

Gun owners are buying more guns. Industry analyst Jim Barrett say they’re afraid President Obama will roll back gun rights in a second term.

Jim Barrett: It is an absolutely fabulous market. Take Sturm, Ruger.

They make the Blackhawk revolver.

Barrett: Their unit sales were up 52 percent. Smith & Wesson, sales were up 24 percent.

Barrett says sales are booming in states where the NRA has pushed concealed-carry laws.

I’m Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

 

About the author

Mitchell Hartman is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Entrepreneurship Desk and also covers employment.
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