Smith and Wesson, one of the most notable gun manufactures in the United States, announced this week that Americans are buying fewer guns, which will contribute to a weaker business climate for gun makers from coast to coast. The report was a surprise, after the gun manufacturing industry has been experiencing record sales in the past several years.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, close to 9 million guns were last year, an increase of more than 30 percent over 2011. Record gun sales were also reported in 2012. Many experts believe that gun sales have been increasing significantly in recent years because the fear that new regulations will restrict people’s ability to purchase firearms in the future. This run-up pattern could be seen in sales of semiautomatic assault rifles.
“Any new gun restriction pushes people to purchase guns sooner rather than later,” said Christian Science Monitor reporter Eleen Meyers.
In addition, sales of firearms seem to increase following a mass shooting. Colorado, for example incurred a near 50 percent increase in background checks after the shooting in a Colorado movie theater. The massacre Sandy Hook Elementary School preceded similar patterns, said Meyers. When there is an incident, Meyer’s explained people feel the need to be armed.
While the gun manufacturer reported overall slowness in gun purchases, the industry is far from in decline. According to Smith and Wesson’s Chief Executive Officer, James Debney, a the softer than expected market for sporting rifles offset a significant climb in hand guns, and contributed to the announcement that fewer Americans are buying guns. In fact, handgun sales for Smith and Wesson jumped more than 30 percent.
According to Brian Ruttenbur, a gun market analyst with CRT Capital, a new breed of Smith and Wesson handgun is becoming particularly popular. Models as polymer guns and Smith and Wesson’s newest M&P compact pistols are extremely hot with consumers.
“The demand is outpacing the supply of the M&P,” said Ruttenbur.
Still demand for firearms appears to be slowing. Smith & Wesson sales slipped nearly 5 percent to just over $165 million. The company, is projecting a continued slide into next year.
“The company projects that net sales for 2015 will dip below $600 million,” said CNN reporter Aaron Smith.
Smith and Wesson started in 1852 partners Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson started a company that produced a lever-action pistol. Then 1856 the two formerly formed a new company, Smith and Wesson to manufacture a new revolver and cartridge form of gun. Over the years Smith and Wesson have risen to fame as the standard issued gun for police and military throughout the world. Hollywood also helped contribute to the company’s success after their guns were featured in well-known Western and Action movies. Sports enthusiasts have always been gun enthusiasts, and favor the Smith and Wesson line of guns as well.
However despite this impressive resume, Smith and Wesson may have seen their heyday pass. With fewer rifles being purchased, increases pressure from Washington D.C. to regulate guns in the United States, it is not surprising that Smith and Wesson was disappointed to announce fewer gun purchases by Americans.
By Vincent Aviani