Is it a surprise that demand for firearms dropped since Trump took office? Depending on where you stand politically, Trump may have caused an unexpectedly good result since taking office.
Shares of Smith & Wesson drop 5 percent late Thursday on fiscal third-quarter sales that were slightly weaker than expected.
“Toward the end of the quarter, consumer firearm purchasing began to cool — a trend that underscores the importance of remaining focused on our strategy to continue growing and balancing our business across the shooting, hunting, and rugged outdoor enthusiast markets,” James Debney, American Outdoor Brands’ president and CEO, said in a press release.
Weaker than expected gun sales are usually attributed to less regulations or hints of future deregulation. On the contrary, when policy makers suggests more restrictions, a sudden resurgence of firearm sales will follow.
Analysts have been cautioning that there was a possibility of gun sales slowing after the election of President Donald Trump. They indicate that some of the buying prior to the November election was linked in part to fears of gun regulation as well as consumer demand for firearms protection following mass shootings.
Indeed, the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) data showed big declines after the election. December 2016 NICS checks were down by 17 percent and January 2017 checks slid by 24 percent, which followed double-digit percentage increases in October and November of 2016.
Adjusted NICS background checks during the company’s fiscal third quarter ended Jan. 31, 2017, declined by almost 10 percent when compared with the year-ago period. The adjusted NICS data supplied by the National Shooting Sports Foundation is sometimes used by analysts as a proxy for retail gun sales, since it excludes concealed carry weapon permit background checks.
The year-ago quarter’s NICS data was boosted by consumer demand for firearms after the December 20015, terrorist attack in San Bernadino, California.
With slumping firearm sales expected to continue, bargain shoppers may find new reasons to stock up their armory if prices also drop.
In case you’re looking for something peaceful to do, take a look at George W. Bush unveiling a new book of his own paintings here.