How fear and shootings drive business for the gun industry

In 2019, one of the nation’s largest gunmakers, Sturm, Ruger and Company, was in trouble. Profits fell by half over three years. It shuttered factories for a few days here and there. No reason to make so many guns. A top competitor, Remington Outdoor, went bankrupt. So did a key Ruger distributor. But everything changed for Ruger – and the U.S. firearms industry – in 2020. The pandemic hit. People got nervous. Black Lives Matter protests and civil unrest filled the summer. And a presidential election loomed over it all. U.S. gun sales surged an estimated 60 percent last year to an all-time high. Ruger chief executive Chris Killoy called the sales boom “historic” and “ferocious” in an earnings call with investors on Feb. 18. Company profits jumped nearly 40 percent. Killoy said he saw a connection between the year-long turmoil and the sales explosion. But he’d never seen it like this. “In my 30 years plus in the industry frankly, I think it’s different than what we’ve seen in some of the past demand surges,” Killoy said. A month later, a Ruger AR-556 pistol was sold at a gun shop in Boulder, Colo., bought by the alleged gunman who killed 10 people Monday at the King Soopers supermarket. Authorities have not said whether he used it. But he’d purchased it six days earlier, the same day as a mass shooting that killed 8 people at massage parlors in Atlanta. Now, these two mass shootings are likely to spur […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.