Democrat Joe Biden hasn’t even been sworn in but the prospect of his presidency is already fueling vigorous gun sales, as confirmed by an article in Forbes discussing the “uptick” in sales at Smith & Wesson.
Forbes reported “sales more than doubled in the quarter ending on Oct. 31, to $248.7 million, compared to $113.7 million in the year-ago quarter. The company also reported net income of $52.2 million for the quarter, compared to $1.3 million in the year-ago quarter, and said it has zero net debt.”
The famed handgun manufacturer represents the tip of the proverbial iceberg, as the FBI’s National Instant Check System posted another record for background checks during the month of November, with raw data putting the figure at 3,626,335.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation reported its “adjusted NICS” figures earlier this week. According to the group’s website, the adjusted “figure of 1,949,141 is an increase of 45.2 percent compared to the November 2019 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,342,155. For comparison, the unadjusted November 2020 FBI NICS figure 3,602,296 reflects a 41.5 percent increase from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,545,863 in November 2019.
“The year-to-date total of 19.1 million background checks continues to add to a record-setting year for firearm sales,” NSSF added. “The previous complete annual record of 15.7 million background checks was set in 2016. NSSF retailer surveys estimate that nearly 7.7 million people purchased a firearm for the first time in 2020.”
Forbes quoted Rommel Dionisio, gun industry analyst for Aegis Capital, who told the magazine, “Consumer demand has picked up in recent weeks driven by heightened consumer fears over tightened gun control legislation under a Biden administration. They noted sales of modern sporting rifles have accelerated recently, which is likely a response to the campaign promises by Biden to ban future sales of this type of firearm.”
The gun sales surge actually began in March, apparently sparked by the coronavirus pandemic outbreak as concerns about social breakdown and the potential for police officers being infected and unable to respond to calls for help.
The sales pattern continued and even gained more traction over the summer months as many cities erupted with violent protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis while in police custody.