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Photo by Peter Andrew Lusztyk + Derek Blais

No, we’re not talking about the U.S. president’s polling numbers, but his impact on gun sales. Strangely, when Americans aren’t worried Democrats are going to take their weapons, they stop stocking up and gun makers run into trouble. Remington, whose Bushmaster rifle was used in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, filed for bankruptcy protection in February. And sales at other top gun makers—including Colt’s Manufacturing, American Outdoor Brands (parent of Smith & Wesson) and Sturm, Ruger & Co.—are collapsing. Remington, which was acquired by Cerberus Capital Management in 2007, can’t blame all of its woes on Donald Trump. The 200-year-old gun maker is also being sued by the parents of the 20 children killed at Sandy Hook, and the case is still before the courts. Cerberus has tried to off-load its purchase, but so far there have been no takers. In the meantime, Remington is hoping to shed roughly $700 million (U.S.) in debt—and likely praying the Democrats win big in this year’s midterm elections.

Remington may never have known Adam Lanza, but they had been courting him for years.

— Josh Koskoff, attorney for families of the Sandy Hook massacre

% change of gun stock prices

During the Obama years

(2008 to 2017)

194%

65%

13%

AMERICAN

OUTDOOR

STURM,

RUGER

REMINGTON

-20%

-53%

-63%

Since Trump election

(2017 to present)

Three of America’s top gun makers have

seen their profits plunge

2016

2017

AMERICAN

OUTDOOR

BRANDS CORP.

135.8M

-70%

(OWNER OF

SMITH & WESSON)

40.2M

87.5M

STURM,

RUGER & CO.

-40%

52.1M

19.1M

REMINGTON

-417%

(NOW BANKRUPT)

-60.5M*

 

* FIRST NINE MONTHS ONLY

% change of gun stock prices

During the Obama years

(2008 to 2017)

194%

65%

13%

AMERICAN

OUTDOOR

STURM,

RUGER

REMINGTON

-20%

-53%

-63%

Since Trump election

(2017 to present)

Three of America’s top gun makers have

seen their profits plunge

2016

2017

135.8M

AMERICAN

OUTDOOR

BRANDS CORP.

-70%

(OWNER OF

SMITH & WESSON)

40.2M

87.5M

STURM,

RUGER & CO.

-40%

52.1M

19.1M

REMINGTON

-417%

(NOW BANKRUPT)

-60.5M*

 

* FIRST NINE MONTHS ONLY

% change of gun stock prices

Three of America’s top gun makers have

seen their profits plunge

During the Obama years

(2008 to 2017)

2016

2017

194%

AMERICAN

OUTDOOR

BRANDS CORP.

135.8M

-70%

(OWNER OF

SMITH & WESSON)

40.2M

65%

87.5M

STURM,

RUGER & CO.

-40%

13%

52.1M

AMERICAN

OUTDOOR

STURM,

RUGER

REMINGTON

19.1M

REMINGTON

-417%

(NOW BANKRUPT)

-20%

-60.5M*

-53%

-63%

 

* FIRST NINE MONTHS ONLY

Since Trump election

(2017 to present)

In 2017, U.S. firearm sales saw their

biggest drop since George W. Bush

was in power

% change in background checks shown as a

proxy for firearm sales

20%

15

10

5

0

BUSH

OBAMA

-5

TRUMP

2000

2005

2010

2015

2017

In 2017, U.S. firearm sales saw their biggest drop

since George W. Bush was in power

% change in background checks shown as a

proxy for firearm sales

20%

15

10

5

0

BUSH

OBAMA

-5

TRUMP

2000

2005

2010

2015

2017

In 2017, U.S. firearm sales saw their biggest drop since George W. Bush was in power

% change in background checks shown as a proxy for firearm sales

20%

15

10

5

0

BUSH

OBAMA

TRUMP

-5

2000

2005

2010

2015

2017

The Colt ArmaLite Rifle 15, a civilian take on the military M16, debuted in the 1960s. After the patent expired in 1977, other gun makers began producing the semi-automatic rifle. Remington manufactures several similar guns, including this Bushmaster— the weapon used by gunman Adam Lanza in the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre in 2012. Photo by Peter Andrew Lusztyk + Derek Blais

They call it the Trump slump.

— Robert Spitzer,a professor at the State University of New York and author of five books on firearms, on the decrease in gun sales

% change in background checks the

month after a shooting compared to

previous year

50%

43%

40%

-13%

LAS

VEGAS

SANDY

HOOK

SAN

BERNARDINO

ORLANDO

DECEMBER

2012

DECEMBER

2015

JUNE

2016

OCTOBER

2017

% change in background checks the month after a

shooting compared to previous year

50%

43%

40%

-13%

SANDY

HOOK

SAN

BERNARDINO

ORLANDO

LAS VEGAS

DECEMBER

2012

DECEMBER

2015

JUNE

2016

OCTOBER

2017

% change in background checks the month after a shooting compared to previous year

50%

43%

40%

-13%

SANDY HOOK

SAN BERNARDINO

ORLANDO

LAS VEGAS

DECEMBER 2012

DECEMBER 2015

JUNE 2016

OCTOBER 2017

35%

The estimated percentage of U.S. equity mutual funds that include investments in a gun or ammunition maker or retailer. That’s more than $17 billion (U.S.) spread over 2,000 plus funds, according to Goodbye Gun Stocks, a non-profit group. Retailers that sell firearms include Walmart, Cabela’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods (although Walmart and Dick’s no longer sell assault-style rifles).

Ontario and Quebec have the

most licences

Individual firearm Licences (2016)

Yukon

British Columbia

Northwest Territories

Alberta

Saskatchewan

Nunavut

Manitoba

Ontario

Quebec

New Brunswick

Nova Scotia

Prince Edward Island

Nfld and Labrador

7,222

279,060

5,582

292,524

103,397

3,673

86,984

581,408

493,230

67,989

74,268

6,129

75,374

Canadian gun ownership is on the rise

Number of restricted firearms registered

1,000,000

800,000

600,000

400,000

Restricted firearms are registered. Non-restricted firearms (not shown) are no longer tracked

200,000

0

’07

’09

’11

’13

’15

’17

Ontario and Quebec have the most licences

Individual firearm Licences (2016)

Yukon

British Columbia

Northwest Territories

Alberta

Saskatchewan

Nunavut

Manitoba

Ontario

Quebec

New Brunswick

Nova Scotia

Prince Edward Island

Nfld and Labrador

7,222

279,060

5,582

292,524

103,397

3,673

86,984

581,408

493,230

67,989

74,268

6,129

75,374

Canadian gun ownership is on the rise

Number of restricted firearms registered

1,000,000

800,000

600,000

400,000

200,000

Restricted firearms are registered. Non-restricted firearms (not shown) are no longer tracked

0

’07

’09

’11

’13

’15

’17

Ontario and Quebec have the

most licences

Canadian gun ownership is on the rise

Number of restricted firearms registered

Individual firearm Licences (2016)

1,000,000

Yukon

British Columbia

Northwest Territories

Alberta

Saskatchewan

Nunavut

Manitoba

Ontario

Quebec

New Brunswick

Nova Scotia

Prince Edward Island

Nfld and Labrador

7,222

279,060

800,000

5,582

292,524

600,000

103,397

3,673

86,984

400,000

581,408

493,230

Restricted firearms are registered. Non-restricted firearms (not shown) are no longer tracked

200,000

67,989

74,268

0

6,129

’07

’09

’11

’13

’15

’17

75,374

Humans tend to assess risk in a way that’s not scientific but emotional. We have a strong bias that causes us to pay too much attention to low-probability risks.

— Sara Gorman, co-author of Denying to the Grave, on why tighter gun regulation makes Americans buy more guns

22% to 31% of Americans say they have

at least one gun but 3% of the U.S.

population owns an average of 17 guns,

with an estimated 7.7 million in possession

of 8 to 140 guns apiece

22% to 31% of Americans say they have at least

one gun but 3% of the U.S. population owns an

average of 17 guns, with an estimated 7.7 million

in possession of 8 to 140 guns apiece

22% to 31% of Americans say they have at least one gun but 3% of the U.S. population

owns an average of 17 guns, with an estimated 7.7 million in possession of 8 to 140

guns apiece

I suspect that if the Democrats make a resurgence this November, gun company stocks will come roaring back with them.

— Richard Feldman, president of the Independent Firearm Owners Association
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