Post-Election Gun Sales Heating Up, Or Just Hyped Up?

Image courtesy Oregonlive.com

Have gun sales gone through the roof since Tuesday’s election was called? I stopped by two local gun stores today to see if their inventory was flying off the shelves in anticipation of future gun control legislation, and I got a clear answer: not so much . . .

My first stop was at Bi-Mart, a regional no-frills department store chain that stocks everything from coffee makers to dog food and hardware. As well as long guns, ammo and reloading components. Their gun shelves were chock-full (including two Mini-14 Tactical models) and their gun counter was so sleepy I had to track down a clerk to sell me some Remington 9mms for $10.50 a box. He didn’t blink when I asked for five boxes, so they clearly aren’t rationing ammo purchses like they had to during the Great Ammo Drought.

Next on the itinerary was Fisherman’s Marine & Outdoor, a higher-scale outdoor sportsmen’s store with a lavish gun counter. Fisherman’s ammo shelves were loaded to capacity (although their prices weren’t the best) and there were probably two dozen Evil Assault Rifles Modern Sporting Rifles ™ behind the counter. There were precisely zero customers lined up to fill out their Form 4473′s, and I was the only shopper with any merchandise in his cart.

The gun sales manager had plenty of time to talk, and I asked him if he’d seen any increase in sales since Tuesday. He shrugged. “Maybe, just a little,” he said, “but it’s hard to tell, since the last year has already been so good”

True that. Gun sales have indeed been booming for years, and 2012 is merely the best of several very good years for the shooting industry.

“At this point, I think everybody has already stocked up,” the manager continued. “I just don’t think there’s going to be a big surge in sales unless something happens.” Something meaning another AWB.

President Obama may or may not have dark designs for the 2nd Amendment, but the guys in the gun-counter trenches around here haven’t seen any pre-emptive arming up in days since Election 2012.

36 Responses to Post-Election Gun Sales Heating Up, Or Just Hyped Up?

  1. avatarAlan Booth says:

    Maybe not in your area. In mine, the MD/VA area, some shops look like they were looted – nothing on the shelves but some lever actions and .22s. No ARs, no mags, no ammo. One shop in VA sold out of $300K of inventory in one day: Wednesday.

    • avatarWade says:

      Same in Austin Texas, I passed through there yesterday, not a single case of .45, .223, or 12 gauge buck to be found in the whole city.

      • avatarBilly Wardlaw says:

        I can confirm this. Also, GT Dist. has apparently been doing a brisk 2 days of selling.

        • avatarArt says:

          Ditto Hampton Roads area of Virginia,

        • avatarJAS says:

          Online is bad. I placed two orders with two different sellers that took my order (in stock) and then I got an email from both saying “your orders are out of stock” some hours later.

          This was on Magpul AR 30-round window magazines. One of the sellers is CTD, one of the largest of these online guys. If that is right, stock on hand is being measured in minutes.

          J

  2. avatarJon says:

    In my area of Charlotte, NC a few gun shops have been extremely busy and very crowded….one shop sold 8 AR’s in 2 hrs which I asked the salesman the usual sales and he said that’s def a record!!! Prices on ammo have also gone up around 50%

  3. avatarMatt in Atl says:

    Check out the message on SGAmmo.com, as well as their inventory.

    A local shop here, adventureoutdoors.com, has a similar message. Maybe this is a southern thing.

    • avatarChainsawWieldingManiac says:

      Time to buy a VEPR 7.62x54R, seems like it’s the only stuff that hasn’t skyrocketed in price.

  4. avatarKarl says:

    Have bought some stuff I found a good deal on just incase it became hard to get down the road if legislation comes up to ban high capacity mags, AR’s and such. While I don’t think anything will happen I figure might as well jump on a good deal before the prices jump up and or sold out due to demand.

  5. avatarRyan Finn says:

    Same here in Montana Chris. I went I every gun shop in town yesterday. No jacked up prices and everything was business as usual. We sold a few more rifles than usual so far this week, but that’s about it. Our distributors are still well stocked and not bumpin up their prices either.

  6. avatarJPD says:

    I hope everyone out there goes Chicken Little and empties the shelves. In a few months, shelves will be full again, no one will be buying, Stores will advertise aggressively, and things will return to normal.

    OOPS! Forgot, politicians are in the pocket of big business, and special interest groups (NRA), (BRADY BUNCH). So, they will continue to “stir the pot” with dire predictions and fake emergencies to keep the sales up, and protect those fat paychecks, and profit margins.

  7. avatarEvan says:

    I haven’t seen anything new in NJ. Then again.. We already have an AWB. And about 3000 other laws. Other than a downright ban it can’t get much worse here no matter who’s in office.

  8. avatarjwm says:

    The economy is in the tank. How many of those EBR’s at a thousand bucks plus can you afford and still pay your cost of living and buy shoes for the kids. i hate to think of how many people have maxed out their plastic just to add another toy to their safe.

    I have 6 grandkids and xmas is just around the corner. It’ll be January before I can see my way clear to buy another gun. That will probably be another shotgun.

  9. avatarAharon says:

    It was more of the same two days ago at Wholesale Sports. There were customers in the gun department but nothing excessive. Another customer told me that earlier he stopped in at a Fisherman’s Marine and the staff said that before he arrived they had been very busy. I spoke with NW Armory on Wednesday and they said traffic was more of the same with people buying but nothing crazy. Wholesale Sports has been out of almost all .22 LR selections for several weeks. The staff told me they are back ordered ten thousand rounds of .22 LR. I think I’ll head over to BiMart and Wally World.

  10. avatarRob says:

    I will see what the take in my area is as there is a gun show this weekend, so we’ll see what the panic/non-panic level is.

    One thing I am wary about though is hype by dealers that they are getting cleaned out to drum up business or justify gouging. I’ve overheard many, many gun shop dealers talking through the last year or two and so much BS is said to try to panic consumers. There is a large ammo dealer that I’ve seen countless times at gun shows and I have overheard him numerous times “informing” people that ammo prices have tripled in the last year. I’ve bought bulk ammo from him many times, his prices are good and they have been steady throughout the last year. No huge spikes, maybe an extra couple bucks on good brand ammo, but nowhere near tripled.

  11. avatarensitu says:

    Bi-mart 22 LR is up in price 30% from last year, no mad crowds but you have to have money to buy and elk season started 2 weeks past. Like alot of folks I’ve done my buying over the previous several years

    • avatarPhydeaux says:

      I’ve never found Bi-Mart ammo prices to be very good. I can do better online, even when paying shipping.

  12. avatarsdog says:

    i can’t wait for the nation’s gun show next weekend, gonna visit the normal capacity mag vendor.

    • avatarChainsawWieldingManiac says:

      I am usually underwhelmed by that gun show. Great place to get magazines, but the gun prices have been stupid for a while now. That’s not even mentioning all the idiots who refuse to sell me any guns because they can’t be bothered to understand Maryland’s gun laws (which are NOT that confusing, folks!).

  13. avatarOODAloop says:

    Chris, Don’t know about your Bi-Mart, but the one in Cheney is almost cleaned out for reloading powders for .308, .223 and most pistol rounds. No primers, very little bullets and none of the standard SD rounds. Same locally at The White Elephant (local outdoor seller). Oddly, the Spokane Gun Show was last weekend (just before the elections) and it was one of the sleepiest ones I’ve been to.

    • avatarChris Dumm says:

      Tons of powder and primers at the Vancouver stores. For the best ammo prices at a LGS, I hit the Ranch & Home store in Milton Freewater, Oregon. Pallets and pallets of ammo, at a small store in (let’s face it) the middle of nowhere.

  14. avatarBLAMMO says:

    Here on Long Island, we have the additional after-affect of Sandy. Whole neighborhoods that still don’t have power are turning into Detroit. Despite a heavy police presence, National Guard (I’m told some are armed) and police helicopters overhead constantly, you hear shots fired, screams and sirens at all hours; carjackings, generators getting boosted, and all manner of predation. What? you’re not hearing about this in the national media. Doesn’t surprise me. I’m not hearing about it in the local media either. I just know about it first hand. If the local media reported it, there would certainly be a run on the local merchants of liberty, of which there are few.

    Lotta newbs buying mostly shotguns last weekend. This weekend will probably be even busier. Things are getting worse, not better. Oh yeah, and the Big-O got re-elected, so there’s that.

  15. avatarJon R. says:

    I’m just trying to stock up on “high capacity” mags while I can. Just ordered some P mags and Glock 19 15 rounders from Midway USA.

  16. avatarPaul W says:

    At the most recent gun show everyone was charging arm and a leg prices for stuff (850 for a USED mini-14 for gods sakes) and the trade seemed kind of brisk.

    Personally I decided I wasn’t going back; prices were just frigging outrageous across most vendors, and itw asn’t worth the entrance fee.

    • avatarBLAMMO says:

      … (850 for a USED mini-14 for gods sakes) …

      That’s MSRP for a new Ranch in hardwood. Why would somebody do that?

      Next, you’re gonna tell me it was a pre-580 s/n.

      • avatarPaul W says:

        Don’t know what pre-580 s/n means.

        It looked pretty basic; synthetic stock, stainless barrel, some wear on the stock.

        • avatarBLAMMO says:

          Serial numbers lower than 580XXX had the old “pencil” barrel. Rather inaccurate and subject to heating up and stringing. Somewhere between S/N 580XXX and 581XXX, (around 2007), Ruger changed to a heavier, tapered barrel. with improved sights. It was a big improvement and came with a price increase. But it was worth it.

  17. avatarJoseph says:

    Been stocking up the last four-five years, and I think a lot of other folks have also. I’ve got 40+ 30 rd. AR mags and plenty of ammo in all calibers. Only those who ignored the signs are busy now.

  18. avatarMike in NC says:

    Finally took the time to wander into the newly-minted Gander Mountain store in Morrisville this morning. They had a very large selection with the displays fully stocked. I saw three people at various stages of the purchase process while I was browsing and all of the behind-the-counter staff were kept busy by other customers. The ammo shelves were also well stocked. The prices were higher than expected, but I guess that is the cost of a fancy new building.

  19. avatarReyDeeeezy says:

    Went to my local pawnshop/gun store last Saturday to see how sales were (15 miles south of Seattle). Sales were 3X than normal. Instead of waiting another month or two to finishing paying off my layaway gun I paid in full then.

  20. avatarRalph says:

    The market is usually very efficient, and prescient. But just because buyers got a jump on the coming sh!tstorm doesn’t mean there won’t be a sh!tstorm.

    The one saving grace is this: there won’t be an AWB unless Obama takes the lead. Will he? Who knows. But personally, I do not think that he wants to go down in history as the black man who disarmed the white man. He has bigger fish to fry — like cornholing rich people so that he can give away more free sh!t.

    • avatarWLCE says:

      “like cornholing rich people so that he can give away more free sh!t.”

      I think Im fully prepared for the big government prison rape but I dont know. I doubt obama will use lube.

      As a wealthy person, please be gentle.

  21. avatarAharon says:

    News Flash! A source told me that last night he saw more ammo on the shelves at the Wally World off 82nd Avenue near Powell in Portland than he has ever seen there before. I’m going there in three hours. Hopefully, there will be .22 LR left on the shelves.

  22. avatarGabriel says:

    I’ve visited several gun shops since the election and shelves are still full of ammo and guns. One dealer told me its the same brisk business they have enjoyed for the past four years, but not the mindless panic that characterized late ’08 and early ’09. He did tell me that he did sell three AR-15s in a row, but that was about the only blip in the radar he had seen. I’m with Ralph, right now Obama is going to be on the “tax the rich” kick with the Fiscal Cliff impending, and the current makeup of both the House and Senate make gun control unlikely for the time being, but like I keep telling people, stay vigilant and watchful.

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