And now, a story that one might not be surprised to see in the next edition of Freakonomics. It seems that despite the recession, which has resulted in reduced spending on discretionary items such as hunting rifles, overall profits are rising in the firearms industry as consumers are trying to purchase piece of mind in the form of personal protection. At least that is the conclusion that the Times Online of the UK arrives at. Although other factors are noted, including increased spending arising out of potential regulatory changes, the fear of recessionary-fueled crime is what the manufacturers cited seem to believe is the main stimulus behind buying.
The government would typically be happy to see consumer spending on the rise. However, it is difficult to think that the gun industry would top the list of sectors it would like to see leading the charge out of the current recessionary dip. Despite this, could being a growth area protect the gun industry from regulation in the near term? Probably not; this story is perhaps most notable for the purposes of this blawg as an example of how law and economics are not always inextricably linked. In fact, it would whimsical, even for a law and economics blawger, to think that economics alone would impact something as contentious as handgun issues in the States. However, lest any gun owners rights advocates reach this point of the post quaking in their boots, they can probably continue surfing the web knowing that the government has bigger fights on its hands, at least for the time being.