Good gun sales expected on Black Friday, but not like past eight years

A Springboro gun dealer expects good sales over the Black Friday weekend, but not the brisk sales he has seen the past eight years.

Since Nov. 8, the day Donald Trump was elected president, gun sales across the United States have slowed and several gun manufacturers have had large hits on their stock prices.

“The past eight years have not been normal,” said John Thyne, owner of Peabody Sports in Springboro. “I called it panic buying. It should be over now and that’s good for dealers and consumers.”

From Nov. 8 to Nov. 11, stock prices for companies like Sturm, Ruger Co. and Smith & Wesson dropped more than 25 percent following the election. The stock prices have bounced back some, but are still more than 19 percent down.

Gun company stocks were on the rise in the days leading up to the election, reflecting the market’s expectation of a Hillary Clinton win, which would have likely brought new gun restrictions.

“The No. 1 driver of firearms is fear,” Brian Ruttenbur, an analyst at BB&T Capital Markets told the Wall Street Journal. “Primarily, fear of registration restrictions, banning and things like that.

The threat of gun regulation had been a major driver of firearms sales over the past eight years. Thyne said following the Newtown, Conn. school shooting and talk of stricter regulation, gun dealers saw a 40 percent increase in sales for six months. The rest of the year, gun dealers saw just a 3 percent increase, Thyne said.

“It’s been like that for the past eight years. The huge peak in sales we have seen have hurt companies who were not prepared for the slow downs,” Thyne said.

Thyne said it’s hard to tell what sales will be like with Trump as president. He said from now into April is the normal buying season for guns.

When summer months hit, gun dealers will see the change, said Thyne, a dealer for the past 13 years.

“We had a rough summer. People seemed to be sitting on their hands waiting to see what the election would bring,” Thyne said.

Having Trump in office will likely help drive down gun prices for consumers. Thyne said a lot of dealers stocked up on AR-type weapons in the likely hood Clinton was elected. He expects consumers can get good deal on those type of guns.

Allowing concealed carry permits to be used across all 50 states and the passage of the Hearing Protection Act, which would allow the increased use of silencers, will likely take place under Trump, Thyne said.

“What I would call ‘legitimate gun owners’ will be happy under Trump. Gun laws that make more sense will likely be passed,” Thyne said.

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