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Shooting Industry January 2013 - Page 46

New 2013 Will Be A Great Year For Business — But With Challenges! Business Year By Russ Thurman T he firearms industry begins the new business year with a significant amount of momentum. Firearms sales were already setting records before they were propelled to even greater heights by the reelection of President Obama. October was the 29th straight month of increased NICS background checks. Then, with the results of the national election clear, consumers began another buying frenzy. The stock market also responded positively to firearms companies following the election, with Ruger shares increasing 9 percent and Smith & Wesson shares rising 8 percent from Election Day through the week’s closing bell on Friday. Then came Black Friday, Nov. 23. Consumers stood in line at gun stores and set a single-day record for NICS background checks. “We sold a gun every two minutes on that day, and happiness, smiles and excitement was the atmosphere,” said Miles Hall of H&H Shooting Sports Complex in Oklahoma City. Yes, the industry is setting sales records in firearms, with other segments enjoying robust sales, also. At the end of October, Ruger reported its third-quarter sales increased 47 percent over the previous year. Smith & Wesson reported its second-quarter sales were up 48 percent over 2011. Freedom Group reported its third-quarter sales were up 20 percent. Are the record-setting sales of 2012 sustainable? While the over-the-top buying frenzy will subside, the momentum of 2012 will drive sales to impressive levels in 2013. That said, there are dangers ahead. Foremost is the “fiscal cliff” facing the nation. Then there is the reenergized anti-industry/anti-gun movement, driven by a president unfettered with getting reelected. Continued on page 48 46 Subscribe to SI DIGITAL • NEW BUSINESS YEAR EXTRA 2013

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