Gun sales jump as Obama eyes restrictions

Business could not be better for the gun industry lately, and it's preparing for a tough fight against proposals the president laid out Wednesday.

By Kim Peterson Jan 16, 2013 2:45PM
Credit: Steve Marcus / Reuters
Caption: A man looks at Mossberg shotgun during the annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas
Image File Name: GunSales_011613_RM_300President Obama knows he's taking on a formidable opponent in the gun industry. It's well funded, vocal, intensely popular with many Americans and growing quickly.

Guns have become a huge business in America, and sales lately have been through the roof as enthusiasts worried their rights would be compromised. Gun stores report lines out the door and low supplies, and shoppers report examples of price gouging on high demand.

It's hard to pin down the number of guns sold lately, since gun makers don't report unit sales. And it's tough to rely on the number of FBI background checks, since a reported 40% of gun sales are made with no background check at all.

But you can look at the rising number of background checks lately as an indication of momentum, and that momentum appears very strong indeed. The FBI said its instant background check system processed 2.8 million requests last month, almost 1 million more than a year earlier. Some of the largest increases took place in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Virginia, Oregon and Alaska, according to the Governing website.

Investors seem to have no worries about the gun industry. Shares of the two major gun makers were jumping Wednesday after Obama's call for sweeping gun control measures. The stock price of Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (SWHC) rose more than 4% to $8.79. Shares of Sturm Ruger & Co. (RGR) rose 4% to $49.92.
Both stocks have seen significant growth over the last year. Shares of Smith & Wesson are up some 75% over that period, while Sturm Ruger has risen 25%.

Would investors be betting so heavily on a decelerating industry? Of course not, and Wall Street has thus sent its verdict to Obama: Your proposals are not happening.

The National Rifle Association came out swinging even before Obama unveiled a list of 23 executive actions he thinks will cut gun violence. At the NRAStandandFight website, the association unveiled a video Tuesday calling Obama an "elitist hypocrite" because his children are protected by armed guards.
The NRA said it has seen an "unprecedented" spike in membership numbers in the last month, CNN reports, with 250,000 people joining the 4.25 million existing members.

Obama recognized the battle ahead, and tried to appeal to Republicans in his speech by invoking former president Ronald Reagan, who supported a ban on assault weapons in 1994. That ban expired in 2004 and was never renewed.

Obama said that implementing his proposals will be difficult. He added that pundits, lawmakers and lobbyists will warn Americans of a "tyrannical all-out assault on liberty" in order to gin up fear or higher ratings or more revenue.

"The only way we can change is if the American people demand it," he said, urging people to call their Congressional lawmakers. "Along with our freedom to live our lives as we will comes an obligation to allow others to do the same. We don't live in isolation. We live in a society."

The NRA, for its part, is promising to give Obama "the fight of the century," according to the Washington Post. In a fund-raising letter to the group's members, association executive Wayne LaPierre had this to say: "It's not about protecting your children. It's not about stopping crime. It's about banning your guns. . . PERIOD!"

More on Money Now

Jan 16, 2013 5:02PM
Obummer signed 23 executive orders today crashing the 2nd amendement.  Even to the point of allowing YOUR DOCTOR to ask you if you have guns in YOUR HOME. (executive order #16)
Jan 16, 2013 4:58PM
are you surprised/ this is not our country anymore. they need to tear down the statue of liberty and ship it back to europe where it belongs to many non americans now,also to much internet and tv shows  with agendas not in our favor. its to LATE.
Jan 16, 2013 4:57PM
So Obama wants tougher penalties on those who buy guns for criminals -  I agree.  However, I not only feel that should apply to the "commoner" but to all those who put guns in the hands of criminals.  Eric Holder broke the law and people died because of that violation, but we all know nothing will be done!  Obama is pushing his normal 'smoke & mirrors' agenda, what he did today will NOT change anything for the criminal, only for the law abiding "commoner" that Obama so deeply despises.
Jan 16, 2013 4:56PM

Now it`s time for the right wingers to tell us how assult weapons are

good for the country.

Jan 16, 2013 4:56PM

I am all for peace & ending a war & keeping our children safe... BUT taking our gunds away is NOT the answer to this problem. Maybe we should try teaching our children peacefulness & love & helping other people that are less fortunate. Teach them about God or the higher spirits (whatever you believe). Teach them ALOHA, Mr Obama!!!!  If they care cared for & loved by their parents & families their hearts will be in the right place & they won't be angry all the time. There does need to be background checks & mental illness should be taken into consideration, but that is not where most of the general population is that want to protect their rights! We do not need MORE government regulations! We need more love & understanding within our society, thus it WILL bring more Peace!!!! So sad to see our great nation coming to this!

Jan 16, 2013 4:55PM
Any talk of logically limiting guns and ammo sales in anyway brings out the crazies! The NRA and their mindless followers are little more than terrorists - holding our society hostage.
Jan 16, 2013 4:50PM

looks like all the redneck hillbillies had their liberal friends at work read them this article, and now they're trying to respond intelligently.

uh, good luck with that

Jan 16, 2013 4:49PM
King Obama makes up more BS than all the presidents put together.  He is a joke
Jan 16, 2013 4:48PM
There are 315 million guns in America. There is no chance of getting them all. If you want to ban guns you are in for a losing fight. Oh. There are many ways to kill large groups of people whick are faster than an AR-15. Many. Think about it.
Jan 16, 2013 4:48PM
You are all being monitored, and your homes will be inspected soon.
Jan 16, 2013 4:46PM
there can be absolutly no room to doubght that obama is 100 percent trying to start a civil war. his lincon infacuation is going to his head. Time to have our military remove him from the whitehouse.
Jan 16, 2013 4:42PM
Yep, he's a SPECIAL kind of STUPID......
Jan 16, 2013 4:39PM

 "tyrannical all-out assault on liberty" well at least obama is stating one true fact about himself...


Jan 16, 2013 4:29PM

how they going to do it,all hend guns with over 10 in a magazine and there is millions of those guns ,what we going to do with them,,turn them in  or what


Jan 16, 2013 4:23PM
I wonder how much Hidden stuff is in this !
Jan 16, 2013 4:22PM
they missing the point that every spree killing is committed by people with mental illness,find the gad demn way to block those people from owning any kind the weapon and problem solved
Jan 16, 2013 4:20PM
Obuma has helped sell more guns than fast and furious !
Jan 16, 2013 4:20PM

yeah....I am pretty sure criminals prefer unarmed victims!


I, for one, will be happy to protect myself and loved ones.

If you are legally able to get a concealed carry permit and dont....what could you possibly be waiting for????


Vet, lifetime NRA member, CCW for many years.  I will not be an easy victim.

Jan 16, 2013 4:20PM
never really had much interest in owning a "so-called" assault rifle before, but now that there is all this hoopla going on about them, I am going to start checking the gunshows (while they are still around) and looking at the online advertisements from the gun stores around me...
Jan 16, 2013 4:17PM
He can't ban the will of the American people.  We will overcome!
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

Trending NOW

What’s this?


[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished an upbeat week on a mixed note. The S&P 500 shed less than a point, ending the week higher by 1.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) cemented a 1.7% advance for the week. High-beta names underperformed, which weighed on the Nasdaq Composite (-0.3%) and the Russell 2000 (-1.3%).

Equity indices displayed strength in the early going with the S&P 500 tagging the 2,019 level during the opening 30 minutes of the action. However, ... More