Will 2013 mark record gun sales in US?

Background-check data suggests Americans are buying firearms at an unprecedented pace.

By Bruce Kennedy Jul 19, 2013 4:47PM

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)Will 2013 be a record year for U.S. gun sales? There's a lot of evidence suggesting as much.


Despite stepped-up campaigns by gun control advocates in the wake of mass shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. -- which took place one year ago July 20 -- and an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., the U.S. appears to be entering a new normal when it comes to gun purchases.


The National Instant Criminal Background Check System statistics compiled by the FBI tell at least part of the story. The system is used by federally licensed firearms dealers and manufacturers, but it doesn't distinguish between a firearms check and a firearms sale.


The number of annual background checks run in the U.S. began to jump in 2006 after plateauing at around 8.5 million in the early 2000s. There were 16.4 million checks in 2011 and nearly 19.6 million last year.


Those checks could hit a record in 2013, judging from the more than 11.4 million that were run in the first six months alone.


In gun-friendly states, meanwhile, sales figures appear to be very strong. The Salt Lake Tribune reports gun purchases made in Utah during the first quarter of 2013 were double the prior decade's average -- while applications for concealed-weapons permits have "leapt off the charts."

It also appears to be a banner year for firearms manufacturers. Just last month, Smith & Wesson (SWHC), announced record financial results for fiscal year ended in April.


In a press statement, CEO James Debney said Smith & Wesson's successful performance was "driven by solid marketing, innovative new products, disciplined manufacturing execution, and strict financial management."


Another major U.S. firearms manufacturer, Sturm Ruger & Co. (RGR) is scheduled to report its second-quarter results on Wednesday.


Part of this national rise in sales can be attributed to the Obama Administration's attempt to reform federal firearms regulations. But there's also a phenomenon that seems to appear after every high-profile shooting -- a spike in gun sales amid new calls for gun control.


"Normally what happens -- and I've been doing this for 30 years -- is whenever they start talking about gun control on the news and they start pushing that, people have a tendency to think they're going to take away their right to buy the gun, and that usually spurs sales," Paul Decker, owner of Hunters Heaven in Hayes, Va.. told the Christian Science Monitor last year, right after the Aurora shootings.


More on moneyNOW

190Comments
Jul 19, 2013 6:02PM
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A Democrat in the White House usually spurs Gun Sales but President Obama has outdone them all
Jul 19, 2013 5:36PM
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As long as Obama is in office gun manufacturers and sellers will be doing great business. They fear the day a republican is elected as their business will decline 
Jul 19, 2013 5:42PM
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Thanks to Bama we have more guns then ever. if you had no guns, you probably have one or two. if you had a gun before, you now have 3-5 guns. and for you fanatics, lets call you sportsman who had more than 5, you probably now have more than 15-20+ guns. Obama has been the best thing that ever happened to Gun Sales, Gun Stocks, Right to bear arms, etc...
If I invested $10,000 in several gun stocks one year before Obama won his first election, I would probably have 2.5-4 fold. And If I simply bought more guns with just those Capital Gains, imagine what 20-35,000 could buy me. 
Watch this....Bama!!!!  there you go, we just had another 100,000 fire arms and guns just sold in that minute.
If at anytime we were ever prepared for a zombie apocalypse, or an invasion of 1.4 Billion Chinese (and that's with a government ceiling of one child, not counting the girls they give away). Our chances are greatest right now. Thanks Obama and you lib's.
Jul 19, 2013 5:44PM
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What's wrong with black kids buying guns?  As long as they are of legal age, and not kids, and can pass their BACKGROUND CHECK that is done at the gun show by all licensed dealers, they are welcome to join the crowd of folks who legally enjoy the shooting sports. 
Jul 19, 2013 6:14PM
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Obammy Is the best firearms salesman In the history of the country and millions are doing concealed carry.
Jul 19, 2013 5:57PM
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Guns don't Kill. People Kill. If guns did Kill, than dont you think/agree we should outlaw Alcohol, Cars, Cigarettes, Pressure Cookers. Why not texting? I would take a slightly drunk driver very much over some sober SHT for BRAINS Texter driving looking down at their crouch going fast on the freeway. Texting should have the same consequences of Driving under the influence/while intoxicated. What are they both... Driving while impaired. 
We all need to stop sensationalizing, looking for excuses, looking for others tragedies to exploit your own agenda's
Jul 19, 2013 6:22PM
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The American people are speaking. . .
Jul 19, 2013 6:11PM
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BO , is the best thing imagineable for gun sales . Just the sight of his purple bulging lips on tv ,makes me check my ammo supply . His tranny finger , shaking at the USA public , enrages me . His executive priviledges , and orders, signed at midnight , make me see red . Fast'n'furious makes me realize the BO administration will not stop , any cost is insignificant , any death , toxic exposures , poisons , and water full of chemicals matters not to BO . His legacy , his mandates , his destruction , is all that will be remembered of him . Guns , rifles , and piles of ammo are the order of the day , with the commiecrats running the USA . Or , we can rely on law enforcement ,like a new born baby relies on it's mother . Eric Von holder suggests only blacks should be protected from" stand your ground" laws . Cool , oh the black panthers , your buddies , eric , they aren't carrying unregistered weapons are they , eric ? Oh , yes , black panthers are immune from all laws . I suggest americans buy as much , as fast , as they can . I' don't have a good feeling .  
Jul 19, 2013 6:15PM
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Obama is responsible for 40 mill guns being bought!

 

Jul 19, 2013 6:25PM
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This isnt about republican or democrat. Each has eroded our constitution in their own ways. America is arming itself because it fears the inevitable. A Tyrannical government. We now have 100s of thousands of NATO troops in our country and dont hold allegiance to our Constitution. There are 30,000,000 illegal aliens in our country who also dont hold allegiance to our Constitution. DO THE MATH!!!!!!
Jul 19, 2013 6:08PM
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Even with all the lies the liberal dem-o-rats and the media keep putting out there the people keep buying firearms to protect themselves. It just happens bo is the best pitch man for the firearm companies every time he opens his mouth you know he's lying!!
Jul 19, 2013 6:27PM
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Firearms and Ammunitions companies should erect a statue to Obama.  This idiot in chief will be responsible for more gun sales than all other Presidents combined!  He'll more than double Bill Clinton's record.  If Democrat weren't idiots, they would never comment of anything related to firearms.  Anti-Second Amendment issues are the only thing that the Republicans can do to combat all the free stuff the Dems are giving out.  With the worthless and lazy securely in the Dems corner, they are going to almost be impossible to beat. 

 

Romney promised Jobs.  Obama promised free stuff (AKA: Tax Payer Stuff), welfare, food stamps, Obama Bucks, Obama Phones, quotas, etc.  Which side won?   We are really in trouble.

 

17 Trillion in debt.  Amnesty for 20 Million illegal Aliens (Uneducated, no technical skills, dependent on public assistance).  You do the math!

Jul 19, 2013 6:07PM
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hey, buy 'em before you can't anymore, meanwhile why exactly is that fat slob dyke janet sloppy dyke naplitano, who was recently fired, oops, resigned I meant so he, I mean 'she' can now go to California and wreak even more havoc on the universities there...so why was the Dept of Homeland security buying over a Billion, that's a BILLION rounds of hollow point ammo??? hey idiot obamazombie libs, ever ask yourselves that question, I BET YOU DIDNT EVEN KNOW THAT!!!

 

 or are you just still in such zombiesque admirations for the architect of yours and America's destruction? but I digress...

 

oh right, ammo for practice rounds for our military...yea, sure, right,

 

you don't use HOLLOW POINTS for that!!!!, so gee, wonder why all that volume buying??hmmmm....

 

maybe she's arming the Chicago black thugs with better ammo so they can shoot themselves en masse, if that's even possible?? hmmmmm......

Jul 19, 2013 6:22PM
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I know i'm going to buy 2 now Obama has added gas to the flame .
Jul 19, 2013 6:12PM
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Maybe Obama owns a bunch of stock in the gun manufacturing industry and he wants to make sure his stock cont. to go up.
Jul 19, 2013 6:28PM
Jul 19, 2013 6:20PM
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The unintended consequences of messing with other people's rights. But I think we've won so I expect 2014 to return somewhere near normal.
Jul 19, 2013 6:00PM
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Maybe Obama learned something from Obamacare.

 

Now, if he continues this process, and negotiates a "climate control treaty" with the UN banning the sale and ownership of private automobiles, GM stock will actually be worth something in a few  years.

Jul 19, 2013 6:43PM
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The Number 1, the absolute Number 1, Gun Salesman that ever existed in the entire world is:

                                   PRES. BARRY BORROCK SOETORO HUSSEIN OSAMA

 

Hussein has done more for gun sales than any 10,000,000 individual gun salesmen could have possibly done for sales on their own.  Since odumbo was elected, my family has added three (3) pistols:  Glock, Smith and Wesson, and Taurus, and one high-powered rifle, along with "a whole lot of" ammunition.  Furthermore, no one in my family ever even contemplated joining the N.R.A..  However, when we saw what these "gun control idiots" were up to, we joined the N.R.A.  I have been told that people are joining the N.R.A. in record numbers, thanks to obozo and his ilk.  Also, the demand for 'concealed carry permits' is astronomical.  Thank you Pres. Obozo.  Thanks for all that you have done to make our Country so great!  You are the Great Uniter!  You would never do anything to divide the American population.  You are always so impartial, so fair, and so consistent!  You are the greatest president that ever lived.  We love you!!!  We should have known what you were capable of doing for our great Country..... I mean, look at what you did for Chicago.  We saw what you did for Chicago, and, as Americans, we knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, what you could do for America if you just gave it your all!  You did not fail us!!!

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