NEWTOWN, Conn. – The day after Donald Trump was named the victor of the presidential election, the gun industry had to take a sigh of relief. The eight year fight with a Democratic, anti-gun White House was over.
Gun rights supporters, and gun owners could relax. The fear of gun-grabbing legislation could be put aside now that the White House and both houses of Congress are in Republican hands (at least until the mid-term elections).
So what is the future for the gun industry given that a new day has dawned on the 2nd Amendment?
Paratus Business News took an opportunity to ask the firearm’s industry trade association some key questions about the future. Here’s what Michael Bazinet, a spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, told us:
Michael Bazinet of the NSSF: We expect that the firearms industry will continue to grow as it has during the past 20 or so years under both Republican and Democrat administrations. But we think it will do so in a more normalized market with a more stable political environment and fewer spikes in demand that occur when the law abiding consumer perceives that anti-gun politicians will enact restrictions on their ability to purchase the products they want to buy.
NSSF: The publicly traded industry stocks, of which there are only a handful, may now be near their respective 52-week lows. Clearly, some investors made a bet on how the election would turn out. A few days’ worth of trading in these stocks does not predict the future growth of the industry. The past 20 years of data are more predictive of the future.
(As for the products) the next few weeks should tell, but there may be some good consumer buying opportunities if there is surplus inventory in the channel, but we are also entering the traditional healthy holiday sales season, so that may mitigate against any demand fall.
NSSF: The story of periodic ammunition shortages in recent years is one written by consumers. Domestic ammunition manufacturers have been turning out more rounds than ever and some foreign manufacturers have increased their presence in the U.S. market. For many months running now, we have seen only regional, spot shortages at retail. On-line suppliers seem well stocked. .22LR is the only caliber where we continue to hear some periodic reports of regional shortages, but not sell-outs. That’s not surprising considering the number of platforms that chamber .22LR these days, including modern sporting rifles and full-size handguns that have larger-caliber equivalents in the same product line and are more economical to shoot while still providing excellent training.
NSSF: SHOT Show 2017 is always focused on business, no matter the political backdrop, but will be upbeat, for sure, with less worry on the federal level of government. Nobody is letting down their guard, however, as much of the gun control was moving to the state level even prior to the Nov. 8 results.