Smith & Wesson: Barely impacted by new gun policies at Dick's Sporting Goods

(Photo: Smith & Wesson/Facebook)

Smith & Wesson leadership aren’t expecting much financial impact from changing gun policies at big box retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods. (Photo: Smith & Wesson/Facebook)

Smith & Wesson’s parent company told investors last week policy changes from Dick’s Sporting Goods won’t impact its bottom line much.

American Outdoor Brands Chief Executive Officer James Debney said Thursday only three percent of the outdoor conglomerate’s sales come from big box stores, like Dick’s. The retailer — which also includes more than 30 Field and Stream stores — announced last week it would stop carrying “assault-style” rifles and ban gun sales to customers under age 21.

“It’s extremely small,” Debney said. “It’s actually one-tenth of one percentage point of our total sales. So, there isn’t really any impact and, of course, anything like this is obviously built into our guidance going forward.”

He said modern sporting rifles represent between 10 percent and 12 percent of the company’s total revenue — far behind the 55 percent generated from handguns and the 25 percent from other outdoor product lines, the latter of which Debney credits for helping the company weather a difficult year for gun sales.

“Overall, our long term strategy remains focused on being the leading provider of quality product for the shooting, hunting and rugged outdoor enthusiast,” he said. “Continued growth in our outdoor products and accessories business helped us better balance our overall revenue by mitigating the volatility we have experienced with our firearms business.”

American Outdoor Brands reported a 32.6 percent decrease in revenue for the third financial quarter ending Jan. 31. The company’s firearms segment tanked 40 percent while its burgeoning outdoor product segment increased more than 13 percent. Debney said the company also reduced its manufacturing workforce 25 percent over the last year, eliminating 200 positions overall.

“Going forward, we will operate our business under the assumption that the next 12 to 18 months could deliver flattish revenues in firearms,” he said.

Debney and Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Buchanan wouldn’t forecast how the corporate backlash over the recent mass shooting in southern Florida would impact the company’s earnings. “What’s going to happen in 12 months or six months is a little hard to speculate right now since the environment overall right now politically and otherwise is pretty, pretty volatile,” Buchanan said.

Walmart, Kroger, and L.L. Bean followed Dick’s lead last week, implementing similar policies as a response to the Valentine’s Day shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead and more than a dozen injured.

REI and Mountain Equipment Co-Op likewise halted new orders with Vista Outdoor over the company’s significant profits from firearms and ammunition and its ties with the National Rifle Association.

“REI does not sell guns,” the retailer said in a news release Thursday. “We believe that it is the job of companies that manufacture and sell guns and ammunition to work towards common sense solutions that prevent the type of violence that happened in Florida last month.”

Debney addressed the shooting during a conference call with investors Thursday, calling it “incomprehensible and a senseless loss of life.”

“We share the desire to make our community safer,” he said. “Through our membership and work with the National Shooting Sports Foundation, we will continue to support the development of effective solutions that accomplished that objective while protecting the rights of the law-abiding firearm owner.”

Latest Reviews

  • Tuck & Carry: CCW in a Skirt

    Aimed at those who want the comfort and convenience of a skirt but with the protection of a holstered gun, the Tuck & Carry occupies what I term apparel holsters -- that is clothing/holster duos.

    Read More
  • The Marlin Dark in .45-70 is Stealthy and Modern

    Flash forward the lever gun of Western lore to the 2020s, where Marlin has taken that classic design and given it a modern upgrade. Meet the Marlin Dark.

    Read More
  • Gear Review: Sig Sauer Tango 6T 1-6

    Sig Sauer has long been a big name in the firearms industry, so it came as no surprise several years ago when Sig filled out its repertoire with its own optics line. Today, we’re looking at the Tango 6T, a 1-6 low power variable optic.

    Read More
  • First Look: Hornady 6mm ARC

    Hornady brought another impressive project to the shooting public in 2020 with the introduction of the 6mm Advanced Rifle Cartridge.

    Read More