Forget Facebook. If you’re looking for a nice return on an investment, firearms are clearly the way to go these days. Ironically enough, the most liberal state in the nation is benefiting off a surge in gun and ammunition purchases.
Gun sales are booming as buyers arm themselves, partly because they fear President Obama will win re-election this fall and pass tough new gun-control laws, analysts say.
“I would characterize this as a gun-buying frenzy,” Jim Barrett of CL King & Associates said yesterday after Springfield-based Smith & Wesson’s reported blowout quarterly sales.
Smith & Wesson said preliminary net sales from continuing operations rose 28 percent to $129 million during the latest quarter. The gun maker also reported a $439 million backlog of orders — a $252 million increase from a year earlier.
Weapons manufacturers across the industry are logging similar numbers.
Remington’s parent company recently reported a 34 percent quarterly sales gain, while Connecticut-based Sturm, Ruger & Co. saw transactions soar nearly 50 percent. Sturm, Ruger even stopped taking orders for two months to catch up on back orders.
All told, background checks for new gun purchases — the best gauge of overall U.S. weapons sales — rose 14.4 percent in 2011 to 10.8 million, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
“There’s no one reason that explains all of the increase, but what’s been called ‘The Obama Factor’ undoubtedly is an important part of it,” said Lawrence Keane, a senior vice president at the foundation.
He attributes some of the increase to a range of non-political factors, from more women purchasers to two recent U.S. Supreme Court cases favoring gun-buyer rights.
But Keane added that sales took off shortly before Obama’s 2008 election and stayed high throughout his first year in office as gun-rights supporters fretted over the Democrat’s plans.
“Whenever people perceive the possibility of laws or regulations that will restrict their (weapons-purchasing) rights, they tend to buy guns,” Keane said.
The bottom line is people–especially gun owners–do not trust Obama and the Democrats. After three years of his double-talk, why should they?