From The Cullman Times
While President Barack Obama gave his impassioned pitch for more restrictions on guns Tuesday in a televised address, gun stores across the country were ringing up sales as a record number of people rushed to buy firearms ahead of the new limits.
At Van’s Sporting Goods near Good Hope Tuesday, customers crowded around the store’s lengthy gun counter as the phone rang with other residents inquiring about various firearms that were in stock.
“Every time the president even mentions anything about guns, sales go up,” said owner Van Allen. “People are buying them for two reasons: They’re afraid the government won’t let them have them, and they are afraid the world around them is getting more dangerous.”
Van’s Brandon, Mississippi location has seen a $400,000 increase in gun sales from December 2014 to December 2015, and sales are also up year-over-year at the Cullman store.
According to The Washington Post, 2015 was a record-smashing year for the American firearms industry, with gun sales appearing to hit the highest level on record. Background checks for gun purchases and permits jumped 10 percent last year to 23.1 million, the largest number since the federal background check system began operating in 1998.
Black Friday 2015 was the single biggest gun-purchasing day ever, with more than 185,000 checks processed, according to background check figures from the FBI. December saw the highest number of background checks processed in any month. The last five weeks of the year all ranked among the 10 biggest weeks ever for firearm background checks.
The FBI notes the figures also include background checks for gun permits which may or may not be accompanied by a sale.
While gun sales rise, the number of households owning firearms has remained either flat or trended downward, depending on various national surveys, according to The Post. That suggests existing owners are stocking up on more guns, rather than new purchasers buying for the first time.
“I’d say our sales among women have doubled in the past five years,” Allen said. “After Sandy Hook shooting, the AR-style rifles began selling out of sight because there was talk of the government banning them. We couldn’t keep them in stock. People feel like Obama is trying to mess with their Second Amendment rights.”
Sales of guns in the US are now rising, just a day after President Obama unveiled new control measures.
According to NBC, shares in Smith & Wesson rose to their highest value since 1999.
Adam McGuffy, a manager at Mister Guns, has said that Obama is great for business.
“Obama is the best gun salesman since Samuel Colt. Every time he opens his mouth and tries to limit gun purchase, it has the complete opposite effect.”
He says many get worried about more restrictions and flock to his and other gun stores to stock up.
The number of background checks on potential buyers has also risen.
Smith & Wesson’s trading update said that for the three months ending 31 January it expected sales to be about $175m-$180m.
The firm said its net profit was $14.2m (£9.46m) for the period, compared with $5.2m for the same period last year.
In December, the company reported that profits had nearly tripled for the three months to October and net sales have increased 38% over the last five years.