Gun Sales On Track To Set All-Time Record

(CNN) – Guns are selling at unprecedented levels this summer, which means 2016 is well on its way to breaking the all-time record for background checks.

Background checks conducted by the FBI totaled 1,853,815 in August 2016, a 6% increase from August 2015.

That’s the most checks ever in the month of August since the FBI started conducting background checks in 1998. In fact, every monthly tally this year has hit an all-time high, meaning that 2016 is on track to be the record year for background checks and, by proxy, gun sales.

Background checks don’t correlate directly to gun sales, but do serve as an important indicator for them, since there are no industry sales figures.

But Smith & Wesson (SWHC) and Sturm Ruger (RGR), the two publicly-traded gun companies, recently reported a double-digit jump in sales. Smith & Wesson said quarterly sales soared 40%, while Ruger said sales jumped 19%.

This news doesn’t come as a surprise to those in the industry, or anyone that’s been in a gun store recently.

The most popular guns out there seemed to have vanished for the majority of the year, and are only starting to trickle back into the market as manufacturers work frantically to reconcile backorders.

Lead times have been high since the beginning of the year, and haven’t shows signs of receding in recent months.

This can be attributed to multitude of factors, the largest being threats of new regulations from the current administration, and the fear of the impending legislation that will undoubtedly accompany a Hillary Clinton presidency. 

The increase in gun purchases and lead times, although frustrating, should be seen as a positive. It shows that the gun industry is healthier than ever. 

It also shows that despite most major news networks depicting a growing divide in the nation over support for the second amendment and gun ownership, the majority of Americans feel differently.

July and August are historically the worst two months for gun sales in the US. This year, however, the upward trend in growth in the market has remained steady and powered through the usual lull, compared to previous years. 

At the current rate, this hunting and holiday season should break all previous records for both gun and ammo sales. 


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