Gun Wholesalers Are Going Out of Business, Despite Record Sales

Gun Wholesalers Are Going Out of Business, Despite Record Sales

In 2018, AcuSport — one of the country’s largest gun wholesalers — filed for bankruptcy. Two years before, the company had bet big on a Hillary Clinton victory, stocking up on inventory in the hope that simmering anxieties about tighter gun laws would drive record sales. Instead, Donald Trump was elected president and fears about gun confiscation cooled . AcuSport, saddled with more guns than it was able to sell, couldn’t turn a profit. The company struck a deal with an even bigger wholesaler, Ellett Brothers, to offload its remaining stock at reduced prices. But a year later, Ellett announced its own bankruptcy . Ellett then sold off the rest of its inventory, and at closeout prices. This undercut the sales of smaller, regional wholesalers, and forced them to discount their own guns. Before the end of 2019, four more wholesalers — L.M Burney , Williams Shooters Supply , Green Supply , and Lew Horton — announced that they would close down. Amid this turbulence, a very different narrative of the industry was taking shape. In 2019, the FBI was on track to set a new record for instant background checks, seen as the strongest indication of firearm sales. Larry Keane, general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the industry’s trade group, told The Washington Examiner that the gun business had “reason to celebrate in 2019.” The cause for the apparent incongruity? Top executives from shuttered wholesalers say that despite record sales, many companies have stopped making money […]

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