All good issues come to an finish. For the firearms trade that meant the file gross sales that grew final yr and continued all through a lot of the first half of this yr lastly slowed, however the good instances may not be over simply but. While August 2021 noticed a 25.4 p.c drop relative to final yr’s gross sales for the identical month, it nonetheless outpaces each earlier August on file.
According to the current knowledge from Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting, final month noticed barely over 1.4 million items offered. It was additionally the fourth month in a row to see a drop in gross sales. May had seen a 16.8 p.c decline, adopted by 42.2 p.c in June and 34.4 p.c in July. For many industries, such a decline can be worrisome to say the least, however 2020 wasn’t an strange yr – and in reality 2021 is outpacing 2019 and each prior yr, which places the downturn in higher perspective.
“Cumulative estimated firearms unit sales thus far this year are about 1.5 million units less than for the same eight months in 2020,” stated SAAF Chief Economist Jurgen Brauer. “August 2021 was the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year monthly declines. That said, the current year-to-date total of nearly 13.4 million firearms sold is by far the highest level for the first two-thirds of any year except for 2020.”
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the commerce group for the firearms trade, additionally discovered August 2021 to solely path 2020. In truth, gross sales for August 2021 outpaced gross sales in August 2019 by greater than 200,000 items, and August 2018 by some 400,000 items. Additionally, 2021 has seen a complete of 13.4 million firearms offered, down from almost 15 million offered at this level in 2020, however nonetheless method above pre-2020 ranges.
“The August 2021 figures were the second strongest for the month on record, surpassed only by August 2020, when 1,684,083 background checks for a firearm sale were conducted,” the NSSF stated in its evaluation. “The total NSSF-adjusted NICS January – August 2021 reflects a decrease of 10.3% compared to the same time period in 2020.”
2021 Could be Still Break Records
With the proper push – which might embrace renewed requires gun management or maybe new laws, resembling Texas adopting Constitutional Carry – firearms gross sales might see sufficient of a spike in order that 2021 even tops final yr.
Even if the gross sales don’t attain final yr’s ranges, as Forbes.com reported, “Americans purchased a record 22.8 million guns last year, up 64% from 2019. Industry experts have explained this surge by pointing to the news: Sales shot up at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, amid fears of economic and social upheaval, and they remained high during last summer’s tense protests and after the January 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol.”
Gun gross sales additionally bounce in election years, which 2021 isn’t, however efforts by the Biden Administration to institute new gun management could possibly be sufficient to drive gross sales. During the Obama years, the president was typically recognized as the greatest salesman for weapons, and Biden is properly on monitor to take over that doubtful title.
Additionally, at the same time as gun gross sales have cooled, the trade has nonetheless been using excessive with file income. Last month, Ruger reported a 51 p.c gross sales improve in the first six months of 2021 and a 98 p.c improve in income, whereas Winchester noticed comparable beneficial properties with a 108 p.c improve in gross sales. Its dad or mum firm, Olin Corporation, went from a $220 million loss in the first six months of 2020 to a $599 million revenue in the identical interval of 2021. Just this week, Smith & Wesson reported file gross sales, leading to its internet earnings rising to $76.9 million in the first quarter of its 2022 fiscal yr from $43.3 million in the year-earlier quarter.
Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based author who has contributed to greater than 4 dozen magazines, newspapers and web sites. He frequently writes about army small arms, and is the writer of a number of books on army headgear together with A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is on the market on Amazon.com.