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Post Trump Gun Slump?

CNN is breathlessly reporting that Trump is bad for the gun industry. The requisite fear that made Obama the gun salesman of the century is no longer there. And a higher up at ATF is coming out against some gun laws and regulations. So, the administration is viewed as pro gun. And, reports CNN, sales are down as are gun company stock prices.

There maybe something to it. There were half a million fewer NICS checks in January 2017 compared to January 2016. And prices on guns are dropping. Is ammo far behind?

A few companies are slowing down or going out of business. Kevin asks: Are we ready for a gun culture based on optimism and the continued growth of our right to keep and bear arms?

I’m not particularly worried since more guns were sold in the last eight years than probably ever. Interesting times.

20 Responses to “Post Trump Gun Slump?”

  1. ben Says:

    Business is a little slow for this time of year. Not surprising with all the newcomers who jumped on the bandwagon after the sharp increase in demand after Newtown. We’re finally seeing some consolidation, which is about time really. The market is definitely saturated and there’s a bit of a glut of supply.

  2. Ben C Says:

    Saw some number crunching from the NFA tracker site (tracks transfer times for the Form 1 & 4 for suppressors, SBRs SBS, etc). Number of forms submitted dropped almost 90% since July of last year. Their numbers went from 1500-1800 per month down to under 200.

    Now this isn’t all gun owners, but that is a well funded enthusiast group. If that group’s sales numbers are down that much, regular Joe’s numbers would be expected to be down some as well.

  3. Ancient Woodsman Says:

    Back in the Reagan days we always dropped our prices on new guns in January. It was the big ritual right after inventory day and then we raised them again in the summer. The practice continued up to when I left in ’90. I can’t say that those were hard times, just perhaps what should be considered ‘normal’ instead of the panics that come from having an avowed gun grabber in the Oval Office.

  4. boxty Says:

    Overturn California’s gun laws like the damn handgun list and we may see a nice bump in sales. My gun dealer’s kids need new shoes. Please do it for the children, Mr. President!!!

  5. Tim Says:

    Despite having already purchased my first new firearm for 2017, my next purchase (saving up!) will *hopefully* be a 30cal suppressor (NFA tax-free!?!).

    Suspect A LOT of folks keeping their powder dry in anticipation of HPA being signed. The next day, thousands of gunsmiths will be gainfully employed retro-fitting barrels for the new cans……

  6. Hist_ed Says:

    In the People’s Republic of Washington (State), the AG is proposing a series of gun laws: 10 round magazine capacity, defining essentially every semi-auto rifle as an “assault weapon”, yearly licenses and training for said “assault weapons,” etc*. While I doubt it will pass the legislature, I am betting that it will be an initiative in the fall. I am on a little bit of a buying spree: on 10/22 “assault weapon” (yes, it will be covered under that term, as will, likely, my Walther PPQ .22 pistol), a stripped lower and a bunch of magazines so far. Planning on at least 2 more lowers and more magazines. I’m even going to buy a few mags for a gun or two I don’t have yet and that aren’t in the budget for a while.

    *The worst part of the plan is that grandfathered magazines would be illegal in public–you can keep those standard cap magazines at home and have to use 10 rounders if you CC (or even just go shooting) out in public. Also can’t sell any grandfathered item to anyone but an FFL who is then required to sell it out of state.

  7. J T Bolt Says:

    We have a firearm in civilian hands for every man woman and child in the country.

    Don’t they all know that that is not enough? You need TWO. Two is one and one is none. Get to buying, Mr. and Mrs. America.

    I am so disappointed.

  8. HSR47 Says:

    @Ben:

    Yes, the centerfire market is finally reaching full saturation. I’d argue that the start point was not actually 2012/Sandy Hook, but 2004 and the sunset of the AWB.

    @Ben C:

    NFA Applications are not down because of the economy or the president, they’re down because of government regulation. ATF 41F was finalized in January of last year, and went into effect on July 13th.

    Prior to 41F, trusts/corps only needed to submit three things: A copy of the paperwork for the entity (e.g. a copy of the trust), the application, and the tax payment. What 41F added was the need for each “responsible person” of such entities to submit an additional form, along with their photo and a pair of fingerprint cards. As a result, there was a HUGE rush by people with trusts to get paperwork in prior to the implementation of 41F: There are a lot of people who really don’t like the fingerprint requirement, because it makes them feel like they’re being treated like criminals.

    Prior to 41F, roughly 85-95% of the transfers my employer did were to trust/corps. Since July 13th, our ratio has slipped to about 5-15% trust/corp, and transfers to individuals have not increased significantly from what they were prior to 41F.

    Sure, the specter of the HPA might not be helping at the moment, but 41F is really the primary factor: In addition to mufflers, we also stock Short-Barreled Rifles; The HPA doesn’t effect SBRs at all, and they have been just as slow to move as mufflers.

    @Tim:

    Don’t hold off, buy now. Without getting weighted down too much with extraneous details, prices on mufflers are about as low as you can reasonably expect them to go; As it stands, HPA has a tax-stamp refund provision — if HPA passes and the clause remains in the final bill, you’ll get your tax stamp money back. On the other hand, if you wait until HPA passes to buy your can, chances are that you’ll end up paying that extra $200+ to your dealer with a higher sticker price — If HPA passes, demand for them will suddenly spike, and it will be a seller’s market. Dealers will be able to charge pretty much full MSRP or higher, and they’re likely to do just that given how long their inventory has been sitting, and that the sudden demand will make it very hard to restock.

    TLDR: Buy your mufflers NOW, and make sure to bug your legislators frequently to pass the HPA.

  9. JTC Says:

    Been saying it since the election; a shakeout is coming.

    Supply and demand, like everything else.

    A good thing really…lots of marginal makers and sellers who are just opportunists will pull out.

    Best thing is the reason for less umm, urgency of demand. See “election” above. Cali? Sorry even Trump can’t help you guys.

  10. JTC Says:

    And of course it’s CNN so they get it backwards…it’s not that Trump is bad for the biz, it’s just that their boy bobo was just. so. damn. good for it.

    And not just for production and sales, but for 2A. Has there ever been an era where more patriots were more motivated and the lawyers, lobbyists, and lovers were so motivated and so productive?

    So let’s not say the last eight years were a complete Zero. Thanks, Zippy!

  11. Huck Says:

    Bah! I don’t believe a damn thing that Tass on the Chattahoochee says. They’re a bigger pack of liars than Congress.

  12. E USMC Says:

    LOL @ CNN. As JTC hit on, people were rushing to buy firearms/ammo due to the constant push for the government to make it harder and more expensive to legally obtain them.

    If the government talked about, for example, banning the sale of sleds… there’d be a rush to go buy sleds.

    Anything that involves Trump seems to require being spun to be bad for/because of Trump by the likes of CNN.

  13. Patrick Says:

    Tulips and Hollow-points…

    Not surprised. Just hope some of my favorite firms are properly funded for the multiple upcoming rounds of consolidations.

  14. Peter76520 Says:

    I don’t know how long the Trump Slump in gun sales will last. Many people bought firearms because of Obama/Clinton. This much is true. Question that remains is how many folks are gonna keep buying firearms because of the antics of the Left since the election.I live some sixty-seventy miles away from the Berkeley of the Southwest, Austin, Texas. So far the leftists there are afraid to come out here to punish those eeeeevil Republcans that have no right to think differently. We’re keeping an ey on them, though and making sure the weaponry is cleaned and oiled. And loaded. And if we MUST go to that city, or to Houston, or the other blue cities, we go armed.

  15. rickn8or Says:

    Peter, perhaps some of these people who bought in anticipation of a Hillary Presidency now figure they paid too much and are trying to recoup their money, undercutting the retail market.

    I’m seeing it on GunBroker, where people are advertising (for instance) unissued Bulgarian Makarovs in the $300 price range and are getting no bidders.

    Not saying these people engaged in some speculation but…

  16. Jailer Says:

    Who knows, maybe we will start to see 22 showing up in quantity again….

  17. JTC Says:

    “maybe we will start to see 22 showing up in quantity again”

    Never stopped being available.

    But it’s like oil in the 70’s…the only shortage is for the cheap stuff. Tell the truth; a few years ago could you see yourself paying .08-.10 rd. for .22LR? Even more than that for shorts? And .22M? Fuhgeddaboutit…you can get 5.56 cheaper.

    Supply/demand once again. Diverting production and creating perception of scarcity drives demand and jacks the price. Never saw any justification for it other than that diversion and what the market will bear. And I can’t throw too many stones; I made a crap-ton of free money off of “high capacity” magazines in the 90’s…Glock taught me that trick.

    Libs do dumb failed shit over and over expecting a different result, but no surprise as that’s just one of the proofs of their insanity. Makers and sellers just exploit it…there’ a mildly negative connotation to that, but that’s just naked capitalism.

    Your .22 won’t stay at .08…but it probably won’t be .02 again either. Maybe a nickel, and we’ll be glad to pay it.

  18. mikee Says:

    Pricing the citizenry out of the exercise of an enumerated right – a novel way of incentivizing many into disarmament, and the rest of us into shooting less often.

    I miss the days of 1000+ rounds of .22LR blasted downrange with the kids over an afternoon, but now I take more care with each shot at my range sessions, since the cost per round is higher.

  19. Mike Says:

    I’m just looking forward to cheap and plentiful reloading components again!

  20. JTC Says:

    Different perspectives mikee…

    Not the job of a capitalist entity to protect your rights, except as a function of self-interest if demand is reduced as a result of testing market resistance.

    Which didn’t happen; ask any WallyWorld ammo stocker about that. But now that the fevered pitch is subsiding along with the concurrent hording (ask the WW guy about that and their purchase limits too), in-stock product will increase and prices will ease.

    That’s just how this shit works; always has been, always will be, unless…well, you know.