News & Politics

What Will Happen to Gun Sales Now that the Democrats Are Out of Power?

United States President Barack Obama shoots clay target on the range at Camp David - 04 Aug 2012 (Rex Features via AP Images)

The Obama presidency has been one of the best things to happen to the firearms industry. Year after year, we watched gun sales surge.  As recently as October 2016, the ATF reported a record number of background checks as gun owners scrambled to buy firearms and accessories before a possible Hillary Clinton presidency.

After Obama was elected in 2008, November background checks jumped 48 percent compared to the prior November, according to background check data from the National Shooting Sports Foundation. By comparison, checks rose a more modest 5 percent in November 2004 after Republican George W. Bush was re-elected.

Such checks are the best proxy for data on gun sales, which gun manufacturers do not publicly release. The foundation strips the data of applications for conceal-carry permits – typically made by people who already own guns – to give a better reflection of actual purchases.

Through October 2016, background checks are up 15 percent compared to the same amount of time last year, suggesting another a strong year of overall sales.

But what lies ahead for the industry now that the public isn’t panicked the government is going to confiscate or regulate their guns?

Reuters notes that firearms stocks have “fallen off substantially” since Donald Trump, a Second Amendment supporter, won the election.

Traffic has fallen off substantially since Republican Donald Trump, a gun rights supporter, won the presidency on Nov. 8. Shares of Smith & Wesson Holding Corp (SWHC.O) are down 15 percent since then, despite a rebound this week, while Sturm Ruger & Company’s (RGR.N) stock is 17 percent lower.

Will that affect gun sales on Black Friday, a mere four days away?

“I’m not expecting it to be any slower than our normal Black Friday,” said Kellie Weeks, owner of Georgia Gun Store in Gainesville, Georgia. “But if Hillary had won, we would have sold out already.”

Some stores predict a drop in certain accessory sales, like high-capacity magazines. “Some categories might be light,” he said. “But in general, sales through Black Friday and Christmas, I still think will be very strong.”

What about you? Will you be making any purchases on Black Friday or in the near future or do you feel “safe” now that the president-elect is a 2A supporter?