For the entirety of 2016 (and for a time before that) Americans were buying up firearms and ammo about as fast as manufacturers could get it to gun shops in the anticipation that a Hillary Clinton presidency would mean a wave of new restrictions and bans.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump promised voters he would be a champion for gun rights, and the NRA endorsed him heavily as a candidate. After Trump’s win in November, gun stocks took a dive, and some analysts started saying sales would suffer during the Trump administration because there was no longer that impetus for existing and new gun owners to buy.
Not so, according to one big handgun maker.
Sturm, Ruger, & Co., one of the biggest gun manufacturers in the country, is saying gun sales will be healthy under a Trump presidency going forward, according to this story from businessinsider.com.
“I think we’ve kind of seen the story before where you’ll get a big politically-driven spike: they tend to be fairly short and they’re followed by an offsetting decline in demand for a while, and then everything’s returned to what I would call normal,” said Ruger CEO Michael Fifer during a recent earnings call (during which Ruger reported sales of $152.4 million for Q4 of 2016, a 21 percent increase), the story says.
“You’ve got the same factors driving interest. You’ve got more concealed carry in mores states. You’ve got more new shooters coming along. You’ve got—generally, it’s more socially acceptable to admit to your friends that you actually like guns and enjoy having them, and by the way, come look at the newest one I just bought, let me show it to you,” Fifer continued.
“All that stuff drives demand. And in some municipalities, you have the cops backing off. They’re being seen by the media too often as the enemy. And so, they’re backing off, and crime rates in those cities are soaring to the roof,” he said in the story. “Those people could care less who’s President. They want to defend themselves.”
“It appears to me, if you look over multiple years, that there’s wider acceptance of guns, wider availability,” he said. “There’s more exciting, new products from all the competitors, not just Ruger. There’s more reasons to have guns now than ever before.”