Gun Manufacturers, Retailers Set Record Sales with New Buyers


While Pres. Obama and Congressional Democrats promised to restrict gun ownership in early 2013, the opposite is happening. Not only are firearms sales on the rise, the industry is attracting customers who had never previously owned a gun. Fox Business News reports:

In its annual Firearms Retailer Survey Report, the National Shooting Sports Foundation said there is an upward trend in the number of first-time buyers purchasing firearms, while more women are frequenting gun shops and ranges.

[…] for the third year in a row, the number of female customers continued to rise. For 2012, 78.6% of retailers said more women came to their stores versus the prior year, compared to 72.8% in 2011 and just 61.1% in 2010.

From 2010 to 2012, the number of annual first-time purchases shot up from 20.8% to 25.8%. Furthermore, 10.1 million background checks, which are used to gauge firearm purchases, were processed through May. This sets the pace to outdo last year's total of 19.5 checks. As is often the case, the threat of new gun control laws has been a boon for major firearms manufacturers. Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co. are reporting substantial profit growth:

On Thursday, Smith & Wesson (SWHC) said it expects fourth-quarter results to surpass previous expectations, now calling for a 38% increase in sales compared to the year-ago period. Sturm, Ruger & Co. (RGR) reported first-quarter earnings in April, saying its profit raced 53% higher and sales were up 39%.

In fact, with $588 million in sales, Smith & Wesson saw a record setting year. It's not just manufacturers who are reaping the benefits of Americans' demand for self-defense.

Popular hunting and outdoor retailer Cabela's (CAB) has also reported a significant benefit from firearm sales. Same-store sales climbed 24% in the first quarter but were up 9% excluding firearm sales.

Mark Malkowski, President and CEO of Connecticut-based Stag Arms, said his company has seen a "big increase in first-time buyers" during the last five years or so. He added that AR-15 rifles, which Stag Arms manufactures, are "turning into a staple" for those starting a collection of firearms.

Stag Arms is one of 34 firearms companies that Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) has invited to leave its restrictive home state and operate out of Texas, where legislation and culture are more receptive to gun rights.