Gun companies thrived under the Obama administration.
While Obama was outright hostile to the Second Amendment and the companies that supply people with the means to exercise that right, the fact was that most of his administration occurred with an oppositional Congress that kept him in check. He might have wanted to restrict gun rights, but he couldn’t.
Regardless, the looming threat of Obama drove gun sales through the roof. Once he was out of office, and Donald Trump walked in, things settled. Yet since all indications were that we were getting President Clinton Part Deaux, the gun manufacturers hit a snag. They overproduced to meet the expected demand, but without a gun-grabber-in-chief in the Oval Office, that demand didn’t materialize.
Now, almost four years later, things are starting to settle just a bit.
However, it now seems some believe that gun companies need a Trump loss to thrive, at least so far as the stock market goes.
On the back of a strong economy and Democratic infighting, President Donald Trump’s reelection chances don’t look like a pipe dream anymore. But while Second Amendment advocates have enjoyed his presidency, gun stock investors have suffered.
The “Trump bump” has lifted the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 more than 50% since the 2016 election, but firearms manufacturer valuations have tumbled.
Trump is not uniquely problematic for gun stocks, though. Republicans have almost always been catastrophic for the gun industry, while Democrats have had the opposite effect.
If Donald Trump wins a second term, most firearms enthusiasts will likely breathe a sigh of relief. But gun stock investors had better hope Democrats make gains at other levels of government.
The perfect example is Virginia, where Democrats took complete control of the state government in November. Less than two weeks into the legislative session, three gun control bills have already been approved.
It’s easy to look at stock trends historically and make that conclusion, I’ll grant you, but that’s if you also don’t look at the overall push politically and where that may lead.
A Trump win might well lead to decreased sales, sure, but it also means the industry as a whole won’t be threatened with extinction. That won’t be the case if anti-gun lawmakers take over at the federal level.
Should that happen, expect gun-control law after gun control law limiting what guns can be sold and to whom, completely restricting the market to the point that these companies end up in an even worse position than if Trump had been elected.
While a Republican presidency may well mean a decreased market share, it also means there’s far less of a chance of that market share disappearing completely.
On the flip side, the vast majority of Democrats in Congress are ready to declare war on our gun rights and make it so that we’re not allowed anything but the minimum they have to allow to pretend they’re adhering to the Constitution. Only a fool would think that would somehow benefit gun companies in any meaningful way.
Yes, American companies sell internationally. The truth is the American market is the largest gun-buying market in the world. Eliminate or restrict that, and what you end up with are companies with no one to sell their goods to.
Now, I’m not a market guru by any stretch, but it doesn’t take a Warren Buffet to see how that works out for gun companies.
I’m sure most gun investors can understand that easily enough.