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Are Gun Sales Declining?

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Background checks for firearm sales dropped significantly in 2022.

A January 2023 report from CNBC claims that gun companies are experiencing a decline in demand for firearms. According to the report, in 2022, gun sales dropped by 11% compared to the previous year. Publicly-traded gun companies like Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Company, have reported a decline in sales and revenue for several quarters in a row. For example, Smith & Wesson’s net sales for the first quarter of 2023 were $131.6 million, down from $174 million in the same period the previous year. Meanwhile, Sturm, Ruger & Company’s net sales for the same period fell by 16.4% to $110.8 million.

Industry News Articles @ TFB:

The decline in demand for firearms obviously had an impact on the share prices of gun companies. For instance, Smith & Wesson’s share price dropped by over 30% in 2022, while Sturm, Ruger & Company’s share price fell by 23% during the same period.

That all said, this report is from January and analyzes 2022 numbers. So far, for 2023, Smith & Wesson stock is up 35.3% year-to-date, and Ruger is up 11.4% so far this year, even though both are down by about 15% over the past 365 days.

While gun sales might have declined a bit, bear in mind that these declines are from record highs during the pandemic and civil unrest of 2021. According to Ruger, “decreases are attributable to decreased consumer demand for firearms from the unprecedented levels of the surge that began in 2020 and remained for most of 2021,” said CEO Christopher Killoy. And if share prices from 2023 are any indication, maybe things aren’t as bad as the mainstream media portrays them to be.


CNBC. (2023, January 18). Gun companies report declining demand for firearms. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2023/01/18/gun-companies-report-declining-demand-for-firearms.html

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