September 27th, 2009

The MILLION Guns of August

These are tough economic times. We know a lot of folks who have lost their jobs or had their hours cut back as companies slash budgets. There’s a lot of belt-tightening going on as families, across the country, reduce their expenditures. Nonetheless, despite all the cutbacks, Americans are still buying firearms in record numbers. Americans may be able to live without luxuries, but not without their guns.

Over 1,000,000 NICS Checks in August
In August, 2009, Americans purchased over 1,000,000 firearms. According to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), there were 1,074,757 background checks in August 2009, a 12.3 percent increase from the 956,872 reported in August 2008. And so far this year, there have been 9,076,205 NICs checks. Keep in mind that a NICS check may cover the purchase of more than one firearm at a time, so total 2009 gun sales probably well exceed the 9,000,000 mark. If we assume, probably conservatively, that 10 million guns were sold so far in 2009, that’s one for every 30.8 citizens, based on current Census data.

Gun Manufacturers’ Stock Prices Have Tripled Since November
By most indicators, we may be in a major recession, but times are good for the big gun-makers. The stock prices of both Smith & Wesson (SWHC) and Sturm, Ruger & Co. (RGR) have soared since the November Presidential election, reflecting the boom in gun sales. S&W stock, which bottomed at $1.79 on 11/20/08, traded for $5.14 per share on 9/25/2009 — nearly three times as high. On November 20, 2008, RGR traded at $4.52 and it closed at $12.91 this past Friday (9/25/2009). Now, don’t you wish you’d invested in some S&W or Ruger stock last year?

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