Americans own so many guns that it’s causing sales to decline.
Since Barack Obama’s re-election, gun sales have spiked dramatically after he made comments calling for stricter gun laws. But two years later, American gun sales are declining, CNBC reports.
Analysts from KeyBanc reported an almost 10 percent decrease in gun sales during the previous year. Some analysts are saying this is proof those worried about gun bans have quelled that fear, but some, including Makshim Soshkin of IBISWorld, think it is simply the market returning to stability.
“Clearly the biggest reason for the slowdown in demand is that previous years’ sales were driven by fear of reform, and consumers are starting to realize this is most likely not going to be the case,” he said. “But also a lot of the existing demand has been satisfied over the past couple of years, so consumers won’t be spending as much.”
American firearms enthusiasts now feel they have the necessary stockpile of weapons in the event of a gun ban. The spike led to record profits for the gun industry. In fact, eight of the highest 10 weeks for background checks were in 2013, with the other two in 2012.
“The surge was so strong that everybody was selling everything off the shelves,” Wedbush analyst Rommel Dionisio said. “Virtually nobody in the industry had a bad year last year.”
But the gun industry isn’t doomed for some sort of crash, Dionisio said. Most in the industry planned for the increase in demand and adjusted their business plans accordingly.
The demographics of gun buyers are also shifting. Many new buyers are younger enthusiasts who want to purchase weapons for target shooting and women who are buying for personal protection. Dionisio said the demand surge may have come from comments after the Sandy Hook shooting, but the biggest factor is likely the growing amount of states adopting concealed carry laws. (Related: Feminists Ignore The Practical Solution To Violence: Self-Defense)
The gun industry is also focusing on another aspect instead of the firearms themselves: accessories.
“With all these guns out there, people are starting to buy more accessories,” Shoshkin said. “And those accessory sales are going to help [firearms manufacturers] stabilize with the changes in demand.”
While the demand for guns will likely go down in 2014, the industry is still as strong as ever.