U.S gun shop owners had staggering sales in the months prior to the Presidential election. Many gun owners had worries that gun laws would change after the election and feared they may not be able to buy guns and ammo. Analysts believe that this year’s holiday sales may appear to be floundering due to gun owners stocking up in anticipation of a possible Clinton presidency.
Gun shop owners reported a new sales record for October but the trend has fallen since Republican Donald Trump, a gun rights supporter, won the presidency on Nov. 8. Sales are not the only thing down as stocks are also down 15-17 percent for Smith & Wesson Holding Corp and Sturm Ruger & Company’s. Gun sales are usually quite high during the holidays. Last year’s Black Friday featured record activity for a single day.
December 2015 had record sales for guns and ammo, followed only by sales in December 2012, right after the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut where 26 people, including 20 children were killed. Sales were up after President Obama said he would create new gun restrictions. However, that never happened because he faced opposition in a Republican-controlled Congress.
Gun dealers are hoping for the best this holiday season and do say that traffic is regaining momentum. Kellie Weeks, owner of Georgia Gun Store in Gainesville, Georgia said, “I’m not expecting it to be any slower than our normal Black Friday. But if Hillary had won, we would have sold out already.” The National Shooting Sports Foundation reports that after Obama was elected in 2008, November background checks jumped 48 percent compared to the prior November. Interestingly enough, checks rose a more modest 5 percent in November 2004 after Republican George W. Bush was re-elected.
Through October 2016, background checks are up 15 percent compared to the same amount of time last year, suggesting another a strong year of overall sales. Wall Street expects Smith & Wesson’s revenue to increase 28 percent in 2016 and 11 percent next year.