President Obama has been credited by many gun owners and manufacturers as being the greatest guns salesman in history. Although Obama didn't launch a direct attack on the Second Amendment and gun ownership during his first term, many thought he would and purchased firearms and ammunition in great quantities. Now that President Obama has been elected a second time with a publicized goal of an "assault" weapons ban, gun sales are through the roof. The month of December brought in a record number of gun sales and FBI background checks. Yesterday, President Obama signed 23 executive actions for gun control and gun stocks continue to soar.
Gun stocks rose Wednesday, even as President Obama called on Congress to pass an assault weapon ban.
The stock prices for Smith & Wesson Holding Co. (SWHC) and Sturm, Ruger & Co. (RGR) rose about 4%. The stock for Sturm, Ruger has risen 13% in the month since the shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school that left 20 children and six educators dead.
Retailers that specialize in guns have also done well. The stock price for Cabela's (CAB) surged 6% on Wednesday and has gained 20% over the last month. Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS, Fortune 500) notched up slightly, and has gained 6% over the month.
The specter of a potential ban in the wake of mass shootings around the country has prompted gun enthusiasts to stock up on the weapons that may some day be denied to them.
"Consumers are flocking to stores to purchase certain types of firearms, including assault rifles, in fears of some type of ban going forward," said Rommel Dionisio, gun industry analyst for Wedbush Securities. "It's people rushing to buy them before they're banned."
This week nearly 60,000 people will attend the annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas. Attendees reacted to Obama's gun control proposals yesterday. The Las Vegas Sun has more:
The show, which is run by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and is in its 35th year, is one of the largest firearm trade shows in the country with 1,600 exhibitors, and is open to professionals involved with the shooting sports, hunting and law enforcement industries, but not the public.
As word spread of Obama’s executive actions and requests for congressional action to help stem gun violence, the halls of the convention center buzzed with groups of attendees huddling to discuss the details.
Raydel Ramirez, 34, Florida:
On the assault rifle ban: Banning one type of gun is not going to help. The Columbine shootings were with handguns and shotguns. I think people who have guns also need to be more responsible. We are hearing that the mother of the Newtown, Conn.. shooter was the owner of the guns. Why didn't she have a safe? Why did she leave them where her son could get them?
On background checks: I think it's reasonable to be stricter in how we evaluate who can have a gun. We definitely need mental health checks. It can be hard to say who has the capacity to go out and do something awful like these attacks, but we have to be more diligent.
On school security: I think a good solution is more security. You go to a sporting event and there is armed security. There is armed security here at the SHOT Show, and there is armed security at federal buildings. These people who commit these attacks aren't going to these types of places with security. It's crazy that you have security in all these places, but then you hage 'Gun Free Zones' at schools.
The National Rifle Association, which has seen a huge increase in members in the wake of the Newtown tragedy, released the following statement in response to President Obama's calls for more gun control:
Throughout its history, the National Rifle Association has led efforts to promote safety and responsible gun ownership. Keeping our children and society safe remains our top priority.
The NRA will continue to focus on keeping our children safe and securing our schools, fixing our broken mental health system, and prosecuting violent criminals to the fullest extent of the law. We look forward to working with Congress on a bi-partisan basis to find real solutions to protecting America’s most valuable asset – our children.
Attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution to the crisis we face as a nation. Only honest, law-abiding gun owners will be affected and our children will remain vulnerable to the inevitability of more tragedy.