CheaperThanDirt.com is one of the largest online retailers for firearms gear and ammunition, but they also do some brisk business in firearms. There was a fair amount of media buzz following the President’s statement during the last debate that he wants to push for a new assault weapons ban. So I was curious whether the much-predicted run on AR-15 and WASR rifles had started yet, with people running to the shops to grab as many “assault rifles” as they could before the prices went through the roof. And the word from CTD is, “not yet.” But people are looking . . .

From one of my contacts at CTD:

We did see a bump in web traffic immediately after the comment was made during the debate, but not a significant increase in sales.

To give some context to what I’m yammering about, when President Obama was elected the first time around there was a massive buying spree. Fear about coming legislation and a deepening recession drove people to snap up firearms and ammunition at an alarming rate, sending prices for firearms and associated gear through the roof. In fact, only in recent months have I been able to get any 5.56 ammo at a decent price.

With the political math working out in the President’s favor still, the comment he made in the debate will no doubt be used to drive voters to the polls — and buyers to their FFLs. But some, it seems, seeing the wave coming, have already begun scoping out the deals. And even more have been laying in supplies for years in anticipation of this moment.

This is the beginning of our busy season, so sales are up. With the election in general, they are higher than a normal year. We have not seen the dramatic panic buying of 2008. (at least not yet)

Ammunition and firearms sales have been strong since September 2010. People have been buying over a longer period of time in anticipation of this election, many learned there lesson from the shortages of the last presidential election. They are buying to have supplies to use, not because of any perceived threat to future restrictions.

The supply of firearms and ammunition is also greater this time around. All manufacturers have increased production in anticipation of greater demand.

Now if either candidate comes out and tells of plans of restricting firearms and ammunition in a detailed plan, then all bets are off and the panic will start. I think both are smart enough to stand clear of that political bombshell.

Supply and demand is the delicate balance of economics. Supplies are standing ready, but will the prospect of a second Obama term and the increased rhetoric of the opposition send firearms and ammunition prices back to where they were in 2008 and 2009? Only time will tell. But for now, all is still quiet.

16 Responses to CheaperThanDirt: Sales Static After Obama AWB Comment

  1. Nothing either candidate will do will lower prices. Prices will go up or stay about the same but they will not drop to pre-2008 prices if for no other reason that component and input prices have gone up. Go to a few gun shows and you will see there are no real deals to be found.

    As a pistol safety instructor, there is no slow down in new pistol permits to the point that my next class next weekend are all word of mouth students.

  2. Gunmakers and suppliers of accessories are business men first. They intend to make a profit and if they can they’ll take advantage. It’s the same with any commodity.

  3. Maybe most of us have figured out that:

    1: Everybody is playing us

    2: There is only so much money available in the average household thanks to Obama and his friends and their “new normal” economy of Marxism run amuck.

    3: There is only so much room for stores.

    4: How much are you really going to need if this thing goes hot, considering that govfed is prepositioning 750,000,000 rounds of 40s&w for their 200,000 “law enforcement” members across 50 states? I know… Nobody wants to take your guns away, they just want “reasonable restrictions” which on it’s face might only seem to be unconstitutional but are in fact “backed” by the federal bench in most jurisdictions……

  4. Prices will increase not because of politics but because the cost of material
    to build firearms will increase along with the standard greed in the Mfg. sector.

    • True. Prices will also increase as the USG/Federal Reserve Partnership continues to debase and destroy the value of our currency through liquidity easing. The USD/FRN will continue to go down in value with prices rising in response. Internationally, there will most likely be increased demand for the limited raw materials needed to make guns and ammo.

  5. I don’t see how the demand can get any higher. I have been trying to complete my build for six months and cannot find the barrel that I want anywhere. I canceled the first order after four-five months of waiting and now am sitting at six weeks for another barreled upper, on back order.
    I suspect that one of the reasons we have seen prices increasing is because everything is going up, ask the food shopper in your life.

  6. So if gun / ammunition makers have anticipated higher demand, and have cranked up production accordingly, anyone want to make a prediction as to what point supply exceeds demand and prices will finally fall to more reasonable levels?

    My pocketbook wants to know.

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