There’s no doubt about it, gun manufacturers like Republicans. More GOPers join the NRA, more GOPers buy guns and more consider themselves responsible gun owners, experienced target shooters and serious collectors. It’s as solid a seller-consumer match as you can find in just about any industry. Right up there with celebrities and wheat grass. So why does Ruger hope a DEM takes the White House in 2016? Because a Democrat win nearly assures the company of a spike in gun sales. Even better – for them – a DEM in the White House is assured of appointing, at least, one, possibly two, new Supreme Court Justices in their first term.
Rumblings have already started. A fourth quarter stock value jump of more than seven percent returned much more than expected, leading to even higher hopes for 2016. As the fight to replace Justice Antonin Scalia continues, Ruger and others expect to continue to see sales rise. Ruger CEO Michael Fifer told stockholders and the media he expects to see increased concerns about gun rights if a DEM wins in November, leading to more gun sales.
It’s an interesting dynamic. When Obama was elected, gun sales surged, as many felt sure they were going to see their rights chipped away. When that didn’t happen, the uptick in sales leveled off but didn’t quite dip. Then Obama was re-elected, and the cycle started again. Now, after three more years, gun rights have not been touched, but rhetoric alone is good enough to keep certain groups going back for more weapons. Now, with both the presidency and the supreme court hanging in the balance, gun buyers are even more worried. It doesn’t matter that none of their fears have been realized, nor that Congress – on both sides of the aisle – is demonstrably pro-gun. Fear trumps all.
That means brands like Ruger, Glock, and Smith & Wesson can sit back and passively attest to this perception of increased need and urgency. As long as they don’t do anything to screw up the assumption, they will benefit from it.