Weekly Business Insights from Top Ten Business Magazines | Week 319 | Shaping Section | 3
Extractive summaries and key takeaways from the articles curated from TOP TEN BUSINESS MAGAZINES to promote informed business decision-making | Since September 2017 | Week 319 | October 20-26, 2023
Six Key Takeaways from Bloomberg’s Gun Export Investigation
By Jessica Brice | Bloomberg Businessweek | October 19, 2023
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American guns — and gun culture — are being exported across the globe at unprecedented levels, and one of the biggest backers of the industry is the US Department of Commerce. The latest installment of the America: Global Gun Pusher series documents how government officials match sellers and buyers in markets like Brazil and Peru, where the US firearms lobby has helped foster American-style gun culture. Sixkey takeaways from the Bloomberg Businessweek story are:
One trade show has become the premier way to connect foreign buyers with gun makers. Every January, thousands of gun manufacturers, dealers and enthusiasts travel to Las Vegas for the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show — known as the SHOT Show. In 2013, the Commerce Department agreed to start promoting the event to its overseas contacts.
The group behind SHOT Show is a lobbying force. The National Shooting Sports Foundation, known as the NSSF, has overtaken the NRA in lobbying expenditures. The NSSF gets more than 75% of its annual budget from the SHOT Show each January and uses those funds on outreach programs to find new firearms buyers and lobby for favorable gun policies in Congress. The NSSF was one of the biggest advocates for a 2020 regulatory change that shifted oversight of gun exports from the US State Department to the Commerce Department. The move made it easier to ship weapons abroad, and scores of small companies jumped into the global market.
American-style gun culture is starting to blossom across Latin America. Few nations have the same fervor for guns as the US. Now, after two decades of seeding American-style gun culture by nurturing relationships to pro-gun politicians, influencers and activists abroad, the strategies are starting to pay off. Under former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, an NRA ally, gun ownership licenses surged almost 600%. Meanwhile in Canada, NRA-style politics have also fueled a growing appetite for US-made semiautomatic weapons, and gun crimes have soared in recent years.
Peru is a success story for the American gun lobby. Peru has some of the most permissive gun laws in the Americas, thanks in part to a years-long effort by Safari Club International, a US group that lobbies for hunters’ rights and is aligned with the NRA.
The US is sending thousands of guns to a country it labels violent and corrupt. American gunmakers have been the leading supplier of firearms to Guatemala for years, but shipments more than doubled since the 2020 regulatory change. The influx pushed Guatemala ahead of Brazil, a country with 12 times its population, as the top destination for US-made semiautomatics in Latin America. From 2020 through 2022, murders in Guatemala have risen annually, after 11 straight years of decline. More than 80% of those cases involved firearms. Surging weapons exports from the US undercut the Biden administration’s efforts to counteract pervasive violence it has identified as a root cause of undocumented immigrations from Central America to the US.
No company has benefited more from the push to boost overseas sales than Sig Sauer. Sig Sauer Inc. is now the largest US exporter of guns after cultivating close relationships with politicians, including Donald Trump, and tapping connections to a well-placed Commerce official to help the industry push for even easier access to overseas buyers.
3 key takeaways from the article
- American guns — and gun culture — are being exported across the globe at unprecedented levels, and one of the biggest backers of the industry is the US Department of Commerce.
- The latest installment of the America: Global Gun Pusher series documents how government officials match sellers and buyers in markets like Brazil and Peru.
- Six key takeaways from the Bloomberg Businessweek story are: Las Vegas trade show known as Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT) has become the premier way to connect foreign buyers with gun makers, the group behind SHOT Show is a lobbying force, American-style gun culture is starting to blossom across Latin America, Peru is a success story for the American gun lobby, the US is sending thousands of guns to a country it labels violent and corrupt, and no company has benefited more from the push to boost overseas sales than Sig Sauer.
(Copyrights lies with the publisher)
Topics: Guns, Exports, USA, Violence