The threat of sweeping gun control laws fueled record firearm sales in 2013, according to a report by the Washington Times.
After the Newtown shooting in December 2012, the federal government along with several states considered stronger guns laws. While Congress largely failed to pass any significant gun control laws, a handful of states, including California and Colorado, tightened gun restrictions.
Related: Read about how Washington D.C. gun owners are being required to re-register their firearms with fingerprints and photographs.
The spike in firearm sales was noticeable in December 2012 right after Newtown, and continued to be seen throughout the first three quarters of 2013.
“2013 was the best year for firearm sales (commercial, domestic) in history – period! That’s true for NH to Hawaii,” Richard Feldman, president of the Independent Firearm Owners Association told the Washington Times.
Two major indicators show that gun sales spiked in 2013: strong sales by firearms manufactures, and an increased amount of background checks for consumers purchasing firearms.
Several of the major gun manufacturers reported strong sales in 2013. Sturm, Ruger & Company reported net sales of $506 million for their first three quarters of 2013. Freedom Group, the parent company that owns Remington and Bushmaster, reported net sales of $1 billion for their first three quarters.
And then there’s the boost in background checks conducted last year. Gun sales are partly determined by the number of background checks conducted by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). In 2013, NICS ran more than 21 million applications through their system. That figure is an eight percent increase from last year.
However, if a consumer purchases multiple firearms in one trip to the store, they only have to submit one NICS background check, which means a lower amount of background checks isn’t a good indication that firearm sales are dropping.
Now that more citizens are gun owners, ammo is predicted to boom in 2014.
“Ammunition will still be very strong in 2014 as it hasn’t caught up nationally with the demand,” Feldman said, according to the Washington Times.
SHOT Show 2014
The world’s largest firearms industry trade show in the world will take place next week in Las Vegas from January 13-17. The sprawling event, with more than 60,000 attendees, represents how much the firearms industry is thriving.
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