Gun Sales Spiking Thanks to Obama, "Preppers" — and Even "Zombies"
After gunmaker Smith & Wesson
announced late Thursday afternoon, September 6, that their sales had jumped by nearly 50 percent from a year ago, the company’s share price rocketed from $9 to $11 within minutes of the opening of trading on Friday morning.
Specifically, the company announced
that sales were up 48.3 percent from the same quarter last year and that profits had nearly doubled. In addition, its backlog of orders jumped more than 163 percent, causing Jeffrey Buchanan, Smith & Wesson’s chief financial officer, to raise the company's expectations for 2013:
Based on our stronger than anticipated first quarter, [and] current consumer orders for our products ... we are increasing our full year 2013 financial guidance. S&W’s announcement followed a similar announcement
by Sturm, Ruger & Company — better known simply as Ruger — on August 20 that the gunmaker was on schedule to beat last year’s record of 1,114,700 firearms produced in a year, having already made one million of them by August 15. Mike Fifer, Ruger’s CEO, was delighted:
Last year, Ruger became the first commercial firearms company to produce one million firearms in one year, and we were incredibly excited and proud to reach that milestone. It took us nearly all of 2011 to build one million firearms, but in 2012 we accomplished it on August 15th.
We continue to invest in and improve our manufacturing processes to help us respond to the strong demand for Ruger firearms. We expect 2012 will be another record-breaking year for Ruger, and we want to thank our loyal customers for their continued support.
Growth in gun sales is also reflected in the increase in background checks
required under the law when a purchase is made at a gun shop. The 1.5 million checks done in August was 17 percent higher than in July, and was the 27th straight monthly gain as buyers lined up to buy guns and ammunition.
ABC News noted the trend in gun sales back in April
and tried to determine why. When Cris Parsons, owner of the Houston Armory, was asked why, he pointed to the president and to two hot cultural trends involving growing interest in preppers and zombies.
Parsons noted that the president has “never been pro-gun” and that he would have “nothing to lose” in promoting his anti-gun agenda if he is reelected.
Interest in preppers, or survivalists, is fueled by the National Geographic Channel show “Doomsday Preppers,
” which (as described on its website
) “explores the lives of otherwise ordinary Americans who are preparing for the end of the world as they know it.” According to the website:
Unique in their beliefs, motivations, and strategies, preppers will go to whatever lengths they can to make sure they are prepared for any of life’s uncertainties. And with our expert’s assessment, they will find out their chances of survival if their worst fears become a reality.
And then, says Parsons, “there’s this whole Zombie Apocalypse thing,” fueled by zombie movies, TV shows, comic books, etc., that depict societal collapse and the need for self-defense. Of course, if society were to disintegrate, zombies would not be the cause. But fascination in all things zombie has led to some gunmakers to produce zombie-specific guns including some with a picture of a zombie on them.