Ruger CEO says gun sales continuing to ebb

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Gun sales have been insane over the last couple of years. It started with the pandemic and didn’t really slow down amid civil unrest and the election. In fact, it was so bad that it was almost impossible for many to buy a gun because there wasn’t any inventory to buy.

It was just crazy.

However, Ruger’s CEO says things are slowing down now.

A week after defending the gun industry before a U.S. House of Representatives committee, the CEO of Ruger said on Thursday that America’s latest gun binge continues to ebb from record levels last year.

Ruger has its headquarters in Fairfield as one of the two largest sellers of guns for personal use, along with Smith & Wesson. CEO Chris Killoy spoke last week to members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, with his Smith & Wesson counterpart Mark Smith skipping the hearing. That triggered a subpoena for a future appearance.

Between April and June, overall Ruger revenue totaled $140 million, down 30 percent from the second quarter of 2021 which was its biggest ever for revenue and profits. In the first six months of this year, queries to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System are off 17 percent, but background checks remain up from 2019 and prior years.

“I would say we are in a much more normal summer season,” Killoy said Thursday morning in a conference call. “As we came into the summer, we did see some slowing of retail traffic. The good news is things associated with the fall hunting season seem to be coming on strong now.”

That’s an important message, too.

You see, a drop in revenue of 30 percent tends to be alarming, particularly to stockholders. However, this isn’t really a drop in the traditional sense. Gun sales are still doing well. Ruger is still selling firearms aplenty.

Instead, what happened was the ridiculously high demand dropped to a more realistic level.

That’s actually good when you consider just how much inflation is likely to decrease demand for something like firearms. After all, when it’s taking more of your budget to buy food and put gas in the car, guns are often not the number one priority for many people.

Yet even with such a drop in demand, gun sales are still doing well.

Of course, that’s not surprising. We’ve got an anti-gun president and an anti-gun Congress, which tends to drive gun sales upward on its own. In fact, the only reason demand likely dropped is because the cost of necessities has skyrocketed, taking away discretionary income for millions of Americans.

Regardless, for those who still have the cash, this is probably starting to be a good time to buy the guns you’ve been dreaming of for quite some time.

They may actually be on the shelves.

For the rest of us, well, at some point inflation will drop and we’ll be able to afford to buy stuff again, so that’ll be nice.

At least, those prices will drop in theory, or so I’m told.