Obama’s Good for Business: Gun Sales Soar

Posted: Sep 09, 2012 10:05 PM

Business is booming in the firearm industry and considering Obama’s feelings about gun control, the irony is almost too poetic.

Smith & Wesson stock Friday was zooming, thanks to a stellar earnings report. The firearms maker also boosted its outlook for the rest of the year. Because of the strong business, its backlog of orders more than doubled from the same quarter last year, the company is concentrating on boosting production and building inventory.

“We are underserving the market at this moment, we all know that, and that's a great opportunity going forward for us,” CEO James Debney said in a conference call with analysts.

And another gun maker, Sturm, Ruger & Co., also hit a milestone of sorts in terms of meeting consumer demand. It produced its one-millionth gun of the year…well ahead of last year’s pace.

If the president gets reelected some are concerned that an Obama ‘unleashed’ would mean more regulations. President Obama has long been in favor of gun control and since becoming president, his administration has pursued a deliberative albeit subtle approach to that end. Some examples include Fast and Furious, unleashing OSHA on a gun range fining spree and, in 2009, voting to participate in the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty – a dramatic reversal of Bush’s position on the issue. Although there were no curve balls in the 2012 Democratic Party platform, more calls were made for regulations and “improvements” including “reinstating the assault weapons ban” and “closing the gun show loophole.” (Quite ironically, they also removed the reference to “what works in Chicago” perhaps because the city has some of the toughest gun control laws yet is also among the most deadly cities in the U.S.) So the logic is: buy now in case it becomes more difficult later. This is only part of the equation, however. The article also points to broader acceptance of gun use, target shooting and safety concerns.  

“Sure, about a third of it is politics,” said a Maryland salesman, who also didn't want to be named. “But the majority are people concerned about safety. They are worried about crime and looking at the economy and no one having jobs. They want to be protected now. So they’re buying.”

"The biggest new group of buyers now are senior citizens," Larry Hyatt, owner of a North Carolina gun shop, said on CNBC's "Closing Bell." "Ten thousand Baby Boomers a day are turning 65; they can't run, they can't fight, they got to shoot."