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Shooting Industry March 2010 - Page 8

Industry Industry news Industry Posts Strong Start To 2010 By Russ Thurman he industry began 2010 with a strong boost from a record-setting 2009, an impressive number of sales in the final weeks of December and a notable number of firearm background checks in January 2010. In contrast to much of the nation’s business, and defying economic trends, the industry is poised for a favorable year. “I think we’re going to have a good year. I don’t think it’s going to be a robust year like last year, but I think it will be a decent year,” said Ron Coburn, Savage Arms CEO. “I don’t believe this year will match the increases we had in 2009, but I think 2010 will be a good year,” said Bryan Tucker, Davidson’s CEO. “We thought it would slow down (from 2009), but business is strong. We’re expecting another record year,” said Jeff Hoffman, Black Hills Ammunition president. Consumers provided a much-appreciated boost in business during December, with a surge of sales, especially during the last two weeks of the year. Manufacturers, distributors and dealers reported high sales numbers during the closing weeks, which greatly reduced inventory. Selling Preparedness With ASAP — pg. 20 T “ “It was a very good December for us, especially the last couple of weeks. Last year was extremely good for us; we were up 60 to 70 percent,” Tucker said. In December, the National Instant Background Checks Systems (NICS) conducted 1,407,155 investigations, the thirdhighest monthly number in the history of the system. For the year, NICS conduced a record 14,033,824 checks, a 10.4-percent I don’t think it’s going to be a robust year like last year, but I think it will be a decent year. increase over 2008. With that level of record-setting numbers, many in the industry approached 2010 with some trepidation, believing consumer buying would cool greatly. However, consumers continued to make purchases, with NICS reporting it conducted 1,119,229 background checks during the first month of the year. While this was 7.8-percent fewer investigations than in January 2009 — the third month of the ’08/’09 buying surge — it was an impressive 18.7-percent increase over January 2008. ” The combination of December sales, reduced inventory and consumer confidence set a positive tone at SHOT Show 2010 in January. “I was a little more pessimistic about 2010 prospects before coming to this show, but that’s changed after listening to the dealers and seeing their enthusiasm,” Tucker said. While there are clear signs to justify such enthusiasm, there are still a number of factors that can challenge the industry: unemployment that hovers near 10 percent, an uncertain economy that lurches in a different direction daily, and a turbulent government that continues to send mixed messages affecting large and small businesses. These factors generate concern, even for those who forecast a good 2010 for the industry. “You’ve heard this term many times: cautiously optimistic, and I think it applies more now than prior years,” Coburn said. Note: The number of NICS background checks does not reflect the actual number of firearms sold. However, the data is the most reliable, up-to-date indicator of consumer activity. Freedom Group Acquires Barnes Bullets he Freedom Group Inc., through a wholly owned subsidiary, has acquired certain assets of Barnes Bullets. The transaction closed Dec. 31, 2009. Barnes Bullets will continue day-to-day operations at its Mona, Utah-based location under the guidance of company president, Randy Brooks. T “We welcome Randy and his team to the Freedom Group family,” said Ted Torbeck, CEO of the Freedom Group. “With the acquisition of Barnes, the Freedom Group continues to demonstrate our commitment to the ammunition business. Barnes offers a premium line of high-performance bullets. We are excited about their research and development capabilities, and the breadth of the products they bring to our portfolio.” For more information, visit www.freedom-group.com and www.barnesbullets.com. Background Checks In January 2010 See page 8 1.1 Million 2010 2,000 Meals At Feed The Hungry Feast See page 14 Reward Offered By ATF See page 15 $5,000 Join Us On The Firing Line For The SHOOTING INDUSTRY MASTERS! Page 35 8 MARCH Read SI DIGITAL www.shootingindustry.com

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