Ruger’s positive earnings report continues to support the argument that gun sales are up as indicated by the release of the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) data earlier this month, which showed a 14.7 percent increase from the previous month. The NICS data simply provides the number of background checks performed, so it is merely a way to estimate sales.
For the first nine months ending Sept. 29, Ruger’s net sales were $350.1 million, which is a $114.5 million increase from 2011.
Part of Ruger’s success is due to its new products for 2012. These products — the Ruger American Rifle, SR22 pistol, 10/22 Takedown rifle, 22/45 Lite pistol and Single-Nine revolver — made up 38 percent of sales so far in 2012. That equates to around $130.3 million.
At the beginning of September Smith & Wesson reported a solid fiscal first quarter, which began in July, with a $44.3 million increase in sales from 2011.
Needless to say this is an interesting time for firearm sales as the U.S. presidential election is next week. The most notable explanation for the surge is that gun owners are weary and, some may even say, fearful of what President Barack Obama has had in mind in for gun rights during his first, and/or possible second, term as president.
Although sales are up, and they’re expected to stay that way for a little while at least, and background checks are also up, projected growth for background checks was not met in September, so a fair question to ask by the casual observer is, has the surge in gun sales peaked?
Our guess is probably not, at least, you probably won’t see a major decline in the next coming months (if it happens at all, of course). But a lot will change in the United States within the next week and months to come, and gun rights could possibly become a more pressing issue among the majority of U.S. voters.
What are your thoughts?