During the 2016 election, gun control measures were hotly contested across the country. The fear of a Hillary Clinton presidency had firearm owners flocking to gun stores to stock up. The firearms industry was seeing a boom, as evidenced by increasing NICS numbers.
According to Sturm, Ruger, & Co. their Q3 earnings rose 34 percent since the same time period last year. The gun manufacturer earned $161.4 million over the summer, a phenomenon they contribute to the 2016 election cycle.
Once last night’s race was called for Donald Trump, stock in the gun manufacturing industry began to tank. Smith and Wesson saw a 16 percent plummet while Sturm, Ruger & Co. saw a 12 percent drop – the largest decline since February 2014.
Because Hillary Clinton was proposing drastic gun control measures – like expanding background checks and reinstating the assault weapons ban – gun owners were buying guns and ammo in mass. Now that Trump is president-elect, gun owners are breathing a sigh of relief. The fear and concern that ravished the gun community has slightly subsided.
Ammunition sales, on the other hand, have varied.
Vista Outdoor Inc., a sporting ammunition and firearms company, has seen a fluctuation in ammo sales. Their stocks plummeted on Nov. 2nd but have had a series of ebbs and flows. Around election day, sales dropped, showing gun owners were waiting to see how the presidential election would pan out. Now that the election is over, it looks as though ammo sales will normalize.
Olin Corporation, who owns Winchester, saw a steady uptick – and even a peak in valuation – as the election drew closer.
So, what’s the takeaway?
If you’re looking at investing in the firearms industry, NOW is the time to purchase those stocks. Gun owners dodged a bullet with Hillary Clinton has president, but state initiatives (like California’s Proposition 63) are about to become law. These new ballot initiatives would require additional or more extensive background checks, which could cause an increase in purchases over the next few months or even over the next year.