Gun Sales Bubble

Since President Obama’s election, certain segments of the firearms industry have been running at full capacity.

While attending a writer’s conference at PASA Park every company representative there reported that, despite down turns in the overall economy, sales were up across the board. This surge was attributed by some to fears that the Obama administration would move against firearms. Thankfully, this has not proven to be the case.

So where does that put the industry? With inventories catching up and the economy still wavering it may seem the firearms industry might be slowing. In certain areas this isn’t the case. Some in law enforcement continue to feel a pinch. Sheriff Dave Medlin of Oldham County, Texas has stated that ammunition availability continues to be a problem. He says, “I’m still seeing ammo shortages from the retail stores in the Amarillo area and I am having difficulty in replacing my existing stock on training and duty ammo.” As an adjunct law enforcement firearms instructor in San Antonio working with officers in the surrounding south Texas area, I’ve had numerous students comment to me that their departments have been forced to limit the amounts they can order. Certainly if cops in Texas are complaining about ammo supply, manufacturers have not completely caught up to demand.

Despite the anti-gun records of the majority of our current administration’s members, no actions have been taken against firearms or firearms so far. Many folks in the industry attribute sales surges in company’s ability to predict and meet consumer demand. Said Robert Morrison of Taurus USA, “Good planning and responsiveness to customers wants began in the gun business about four years before these elections. No one started designing the hot guns after his election in November and then started selling them in January. The smart companies were already responding to what customers said they wanted and those companies are still selling guns faster than they can make them.”

Freedom Group Chief Sales Officer Scott Blackwell says the business cycle is significant, but is more concerned with long-term opportunity and not sales fluctuations. “I don’t wake up every morning worrying if a bubble has burst or not. It’s about the long-term effect on the shooting sports as a whole, as well as our industry, and how we collectively can do a better job at educating, informing and ultimately leveraging all customers.” He went on to say, “Think of all the new pistol and AR-15 purchases by people who didn’t own them before. How do we as a group get them out shooting their new product more and enjoying the sport.”

To me, this is the most important thing. If we can use this bubble, regardless of cause or duration, as a means to re-invigoration our sport the industry will be better off.

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