America's gun fever is breaking

Here's one sign: Cabela's says it doubts it can sell as many firearms in 2013 as it did last year.

By Jason Notte Jul 26, 2013 2:20PM
File photo of customers at the gun counter in Duke's Sport Shop on Jan. 15, 2013, in New Castle, Pa. (© Keith Srakocic/AP Photo)Since the movie theater shootings in Aurora, Colo., last year, it's been a gun sales renaissance.

Women and older Americans have been buying more guns, overall sales are up, ammo supplies were stretched thin, background checks hit record levels, and gun and ammunition manufacturers have been adding jobs. Gun fever spread quickly, but it looks as if it's finally cooling off.

Outdoor sporting goods chain Cabela's (CAB), which Reuters says generated roughly $3.1 billion of its sales through hunting equipment alone last year, doesn't seem to think it's going to sell as many guns this year as it did in the year prior. It doesn't think it can match the 10.5% growth in comparable-store sales (sales at stores open for at least one year) it reported for the second quarter, which is already a decrease from the 24% gain it recorded in the first quarter.

That said, it doesn't see the downtick as a negative. "The gun business is settling to what I would probably assume to be a new normal, which is elevated above history but not at the fever level that we saw recently, and that’s a good thing," Cabela's chief executive Tommy Millner said in a conference call on Thursday.

The company sees the abating demand for guns as a mixed blessing because it allows the company to focus on other products and continued expansion of the chain. Cabela's also operates with the knowledge that such spikes in gun sales are erratic, with the first coming after the Aurora shooting and yet another after the shooting massacre of elementary school students in Newtown, Conn., in December.

After renewed calls for gun-control legislation died in the Senate in April, however, the public's memory of the events began to fade and gun owners' sense of impending peril to their ability to bear arms diminished.

Even as states like New York take legislative matters into their own hands and the insurance industry warns against arming school employees, Cabela's says such restrictions affect just a small percentage of its business. Besides, all of that keeps the gun debate going, which only fuels the "new normal" that Millner and the folks at Cabela's so eagerly anticipate.

More on moneyNOW

Jul 26, 2013 3:16PM
Thank Obama for the increase in guns sales, every time he opens his mouth about gun control sales leap.
Jul 26, 2013 3:14PM
Unlike the Federal Government gun owners have a budget and simply can't keep spending money they don't have.
Jul 26, 2013 3:17PM
Obama has made the gun industry a lot of money with his anti-gun speech and actions.  Since he has opened the gates of illegal immigration and stirred the race pot, people feel less safe in their own houses.  Another FAIL for Obama.
Jul 26, 2013 3:20PM
Jul 26, 2013 3:16PM
Jul 26, 2013 3:21PM
Most all Americans love their guns....including me. :)
Jul 26, 2013 3:12PM
Now if we can just get the stores restocked with ammunition.  If the government is not buying up all the bullets, WHY has everyone been out for the last 5 months?   A brick of 22's going for $100.00 at gun shows... OMG.  Yet gun manufacturers are supposedly working 24/7 to fill orders. WTF.
Jul 26, 2013 3:11PM
V_L and what crystal ball do you think you have that for tells the future.  There will always be spikes as long as liberals keep spewing the hate they have for law abiding citizens bearing arms.
Jul 26, 2013 3:36PM
......."against all enemies, both foreign AND domestic, SO HELP ME GOD!"
Jul 26, 2013 3:11PM
Since Obama has  been in Office Americans have purchased 75 million guns.  Ammo is still in very short supply.  People will continue to arm themselves.  I think the pace will slow.  That is natural.  There are now upwards of 250 million guns in America.  

We should no longer fear the far left Marxist agenda of Obama and his Zombiecrats.  They are socialist scum.   The people are prepared for them.  We sure how they remain steadfastly unarmed.   

Those that value the Constitution, Freedom and Liberty out to hang the democrats.  

But America doesn't need to fear the armed citizens.  Just the armed government turning on us.

Jul 26, 2013 3:15PM
We're just catching our second wind. Hope we've made it clear that there exist some rights we will not relenquish under ANY pretext or circumstance. That being said....Washington.....Wall may now continue with your nonsense.
Jul 26, 2013 3:20PM
It's slowing because everyone who wants a gun has already bought one. This is a normal business cycle.
Jul 26, 2013 3:27PM
I haven't forgotten Obama's liberal agenda to disarm the country and turn the entire United States into Chicago. One coast to coast crime scene with the false promise of safety and security if we'll only give up just a little more of our freedom. If you forget that is Obama's big wet dream then you are a fool. I continue to build my own guns and stash them. At this time they are still a better investment than gold.
Jul 26, 2013 3:31PM
Ammo will be the ultimate barter when SHTF.
Jul 26, 2013 3:40PM

Don't worry the gun sale will be up again.


 With this Odummer trying to start a race war about this GZ case..

Jul 26, 2013 3:27PM

It's because we are all well stocked and well armed at this point. I have several 1000's of rounds in several different calibers and thus only need to buy what I use at this point for target practice. Anybody with a brain realizes that the government can't keep up the pace on the spending and it's all going to come crashing down when the EBT cards no longer work.

Jul 26, 2013 3:08PM
VL:A lot of people live in the inner city and think they need a gun.
Jul 26, 2013 3:22PM
A warning from the insurance industry HA!.  I would venture to say that most school districts are self insured, and that when violence strikes at the school the school is sued to the tune of millions.  I would also say that the suits are brought because the schools fail to properly provide security.
Jul 26, 2013 4:15PM
Guns are and have been a good investment for a number of years. You can always sell one if you get a little tight for cash. That's how I got a lot of my guns. Got some nice ones over the years and didn't have to pay an arm and a leg for them. The gun I like best is an AR-15 my son built and gave me for Christmas several years ago. He works for a company that builds them. Everybody that likes guns should own one. They are a nice conversation piece. Both my son and I served in the US Army to protect our country and preserve the constitution of the United States. Neither of us believe our present administration has our best interest at heart and does not have respect for the constitution or us veterans. I am quite sure we are not the only ones that feel that way.
Jul 26, 2013 3:32PM

Obama has been a blessing in disguise to the gun manufacturers.  His race-baiting and class warfare have destabilized the nation.  People don't feel safe in their own houses when he is throwing open the gates to illegal aliens and stirring up blacks against the rest of the country.  "If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon" and "I don't know the details, but it seems to me the police acted stupidly" and "black people need to arm themselves and take up arms against THE MAN"!  Ok, I made the last one up, but the others are too stupid and real to not pay attention.  Obama and Sharpton and Jessie Jackson (the one that isn't in jail but should be) are the black KKK of the USA!

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