AR Sales Set to Skyrocket. Again. Still. More.

In the run-up to President Obama’s election in 2008, sales of so-called “military-style” rifles soared. Fears of a renewed federal assault weapons ban (AWB) fueled record demand. After the President’s election, sales hardly slackened. Then, ahead of the President’s recent reelection, gun dealers and manufacturers experienced a second sales surge for [what the industry would have the media call] modern sporting rifles. In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre . . .

With the prospect of an AWB looming large, gun dealers are facing unprecedented demand—even before their doors open for business. “I’m getting calls at home from friends reserving their rifle,” a dealer (who asked to remain anonymous) told TTAG. An AR maker’s PR person (also anonymous) said his distributors have maintained respectful silence, but he expects his phone to be ringing off the hook. “We’ll do what we can as long as we can,” he said. “And hope that Americans don’t trade their gun rights for fake solutions.”

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

56 Responses to AR Sales Set to Skyrocket. Again. Still. More.

  1. avatarJason says:

    Let’s hope the mandatory buyback doesn’t set these guys too far back.

    • avatarSammy says:

      “mandatory buyback” where did you hear that?

      • avatarJason says:

        Oh I’m just being hyperbolic. It happened in Australia after a major shooting like this. Any weapon not deemed to be fit for legitimate use was “bought back” and melted down. I wouldn’t be surprised to see AR’s made title 3 and banned in the same way after the last 3 shootings.

        It is also a way for the govt to ‘justify’ the taking of what was legally owned property.

        • avatarIdahoMan says:

          Jason,

          People are buying these weapons -hopefully- so they will have the means to say NO when the order for “mandatory buyback” goes out.

        • avatarLarry says:

          Australia is no America. Many of us would say to our government: “respectfully no!”

  2. avatarTRUTHY says:

    And the NRA, no doubt, has already printed off a new fundraiser letter. More $$$ for the NRA.

    • avatarSlappy says:

      After the last election results (and I don’t mean the Presidental part) they will not be getting anything more from me than annual membership fees. I gave them a shitload of money, every letter that came got a check in return….I should have bought lottery tickets instead.

  3. avatarLoyd says:

    I wish it were Thursday. Then I could worry about what color furniture to put on the upper receiver I’m about to buy. Instead of worrying about it I’ll be able to buy it at all.

  4. avatarPatrick says:

    Several Democratic lawmakers called for a new push for U.S. gun restrictions on Sunday, including a ban on military-style assault weapons, in the wake of the Connecticut massacre in which 20 children and six adults were gunned down in a school.

    Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein, the author of an assault-weapons ban that lapsed in 2004, said she would introduce new legislation this week. Senator Dick Durbin, the chamber’s No. 2 Democrat, said lawmakers would hold hearings on gun control, and several others said they would devote new attention to the long-ignored issue.

    “I think we could be at a tipping point … where we might get something done,” Senator Charles Schumer, another top Senate Democrat, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

    Any effort to restrict access to high-powered weapons is likely to face fierce opposition from many Republicans in Congress who say restrictions violate the U.S. Constitution’s right to bear arms.

    Gun control has been a low priority for most U.S. politicians due to the widespread popularity of guns in America and the clout of the pro-gun National Rifle Association. Most Republicans and many Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, are firm allies of the group.

    Opinion polls have found Americans to be divided on the issue even after other high-profile shooting incidents.

    U.S. lawmakers have not approved a major new gun law since 1994.

    Feinstein said her planned legislation would outlaw the high-capacity magazines and military-style assault rifles that have factored in many recent mass shootings, including Friday’s massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. People who own such weapons now would not be “required to give them up” Feinstein said.

    She said she would introduce her bill in the Democratic-controlled Senate soon, and a companion bill would be introduced in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

    Connecticut’s Democratic governor and two senators, one a Democrat and one an independent, voiced support for an assault-weapons ban or restrictions on high-capacity magazines.

    • avatarAharon says:

      “People who own such weapons now would not be “required to give them up” Feinstein said”
      — That has changed from what DiFi said last month.

      “And hope that Americans don’t trade their gun rights for fake solutions.”
      — There are many “tough-talking” gun makers who talk big about patriotism and the 2A. However, many remain located in extreme anti-gun states contributing revenue to governments that oppress the 2A Rights of their citizens. I know it costs money to relocate manufacturing business. Let me turn around and re-phrase a popular saying:

      “Those gun manufacturers who would sacrifice their company’s financial future tomorrow by no longer having customers who can legally buy their guns do not deserve either today”.

    • avatarLarry says:

      It’s only been 10 days and public opinion is shifting back to the America we love and know. One that’s clearly pro freedom. Politicians, got that? You better walk back your anti-gun arguments NOW, else you will find yourself standing in the unemployment lines next election.

  5. avatarإبليس says:

    Damn it. I can’t afford a new upper for two months. At least I stocked up on magazines before the election.

  6. avatarjwm says:

    I wonder how many “EBR’s” are actually out there in people”s hands? Since I live in California the closist thing I have is an SKS. Stripper clips are cheaper than Hi cap mags at least.

  7. avatarLLARMS says:

    I’ve seen multiple mentions of upper receivers. Unless I’m missing something, I believe the lower receiver and “attachments” should be the major concern? How were just stripped upper receivers restricted in the last AWB?

    Mag Capacity
    Adjustable Stock
    Forward Handles
    Muzzle Attachments

    ???

    • avatarLoyd says:

      My thing is I don’t know the answer to that question. I wish someone who dealt with the 1994-2004 ban could tell me. Would the same people writing laws about “shoulder things that go up” consider wording to distinguish between uppers and lowers, or even care? If they ban “AR-15s” by name, would that include parts to build one? Or just “the serial numbered portion” (stripped lower)? The next months hold much uncertainty.

      • avatarAPBTFan says:

        Due to the gun grabbers’ general ignorance of weapons I’d say it’s 50/50 whether stripped lowers would be named specifically although building anything resembling a real AR from a stripped lower would still be restricted according to many of the rumors about the lack of “grandfathering” in the new proposed AWB. If anything would affect uppers it would probably have to do with threaded muzzles and bayonet lugs.

  8. “People who own such weapons now would not be “required to give them up” Feinstein said.

    I doubt she’s volunteer to be pointman for the collection process.

    • avatarMark N. says:

      read that again–would NOT be required to turn them in. Which is of course sensible since there is no way the government could ever track all the ones that are out there.

    • avatarJSIII says:

      Taking away existing ebr’s wont happen. Too many on all sides would die in the process.It would be a ruby ridge every day for a year or two.

      • avatarpat says:

        Agreed. This country AINT like Australia or many of the other coward nations. Everybody would say they lost them while fishing or give them up………BULLETS FIRST. The dirty filthy ATF put a 50 cal bullet in mrs. Weavers eye as she was holding her baby (cuz hubby was set up in a sting regarding a…..shotgun with a cut stock)! There would be MANY mass shootings if they started breaking down doors.

  9. avatarHal says:

    Am I the only one that thinks this thing won’t pass the house? This is a bunch of hype. Without a trinity of democrat control this bill *should* be dead on arrival.

    • avatarMark N. says:

      I don’t think that there are enough votes in the Senate either, which is why DiFi blocked the national reciprocity bill–there were votes to pass it. But never trust a politician, especially one needing political coverage or votes on a pet bill. These guys are all salesmen, and they are all wheeler-dealers.

    • avatarIn Memphis says:

      Hal,

      No disrespect but not all Republicans are pro-gun and not all Democrats are anti-gun. We are seriously going to hurt our community if we can not accept this truth.

    • avatarAPBTFan says:

      In my opinion if anything would kill the bill it’d be the inclusion of a “no grandfathering” clause.

  10. avatarLoyd says:

    Hype or not, Palmetto State Armory’s home page is saying there’s a 15 day processing wait time on non FFL items.

  11. avatarRalph says:

    A confiscation bill is bound to fail. I can’t imagine finding 50 Senators willing to tell their constituents that the thousands each of them spent on perfectly legal guns now belong to the almighty State that’s already taxing them to death. And forget about the House, who might not go along with a 1994-style AWB, much less organized gun theft.

    So what about a buyback? Assuming that there are 25 million evil weapons in private hands (including Glocks, SIGs, M&Ps, ARs, AKs and the like), and assuming that each one is worth on average $400 as fair compensation, that’s $10 billion. Where’s the money coming from? The country is in debt up to its eyeballs, the fiscal cliff is looming, there are going to be cuts in entitlements and tax increases, and our elected geniuses are going to tell people that their food programs are going to be cut and taxes raised so the G can buy people’s guns?

    The antigun crazies will proceed on mission no matter what. The issue is how many lemmings they can get to follow them over the cliff. I know our pols have a collective IQ of a single sea turtle, but I think this will be too much for even them to swallow. For now.

    • avatarAharon says:

      “I can’t imagine finding 50 Senators willing to tell their constituents that the thousands each of them spent on perfectly legal guns now belong to the almighty State”
      — I don’t think they’d have to worry about re-election for one reason or another.

      “Where’s the money coming from?”
      — Obama can ‘borrow’ the money from his Marxist Chinese friends and his Muslim Saudi friends. America is now owned by Far East Marxists and Middle East Muslims.

    • avatarBob says:

      $10 Billion our our children’s money is absolutely nothing to them.

    • avatarJay Dunn says:

      What if we get to keep the rifles and magazines but they make 7.62×39 and .223 Remington too expensive for us to buy?

    • avatarpat says:

      A lemming/IQ cliff to follow the fiscal. So many cliffs. The sea turtles bellies are full of plastic anyway.

  12. avatarzem says:

    I can add a little more insight im currently on lunch at my gun store job and i can tell you sales on ar15 type rifles is insane

  13. avatarKevin says:

    If there is a buying rush on AR’s, I haven’t seen it yet. At least not locally. I was in several rather large gun stores the weekend after Thanksgiving, and they all had AR’s up the wazoo. Even the gun counter at Cabela’s was a ghost town.

    • avatarAPBTFan says:

      Curious, whereabouts in this fine country are you?

    • avatarJoke & Dagger says:

      Okay Kevin, then tell me why I ordered a Diamondback DB15 Flattop in Flat Dark Earth today.

      • avatarpat says:

        Because you LOVE guns and would buy that fine instrument of patriotism in honor of Groundhogs day, if that was the excuse you needed. But seriously, now really is a good time to ‘dot your I’s and cross your T’s.

  14. avatarS.CROCK says:

    in CA you cant get a AR without a bullet button release.(that just seems like a waist to me). so would getting a SKS be a better option because of the loading it through the top, and pretty fast with a stripper clip?

    • avatarAPBTFan says:

      In your situation an SKS would be a fine choice. With practice stippers can be awfully fast and take up less space than mags.

      I remember my first centerfire rifle was a Norinco SKS with spike bayonet slathered in cosmoline. Back then I paid a whopping $59 for it. Ammo was right around a buck for 20 rounds of steel core.

  15. avatarPatrick says:

    My issue president Obama can issue executive orders buy pass congress and senate make new assault-weapons ban law of land. President Clinton passed frist ban on assault-weapons useing executive orders get round congress senate enforce frist assault-weapons ban. Most likely Obama well use executive orders pass new assault-weapons ban.

  16. avatarMike says:

    Lets get the record straight, gun sales soared after 2008 but for no reason because there was no gun control legislation. Lets not get into if they wanted to or not and look at facts, even with a house majority and 60 senators there was no legislation 2009-2011. So the fears whilst understandable were unfounded.

    • avatarAPBTFan says:

      However it could be argued that the hope of a second term put a lid on that.

    • avatarWonderbread says:

      Was at Dick’s in GA this weekend. Two AR’s in the store, with three models featured in their ad circular. The clerk said they had sold every AR that came in since before the election.

  17. avatarAccur81 says:

    Damnit! This is taking me a whole lot longer to put my third AR together!!

  18. avatarJustin says:

    I’m buying one tomorrow…I wanted to wait, but don’t want to risk another AWB or some crazy-ass EO

  19. avatarMoonshine says:

    Yup. Business is good.

  20. avatarIng says:

    If you’re truly worried about a potential ban and/or confiscation, don’t just stock up on AR type stuff — make sure you also have something that’s not likely to be banned.

    A lever-action rifle in .357 magnum could be a great alternative to an “assault” weapon. A Marlin 1894, say. It’s just an old, traditional design. An outdated hunting rifle. And yet… Put in the same amount of practice that you would with any other rifle, and you can easily fire one aimed shot per second (more if you really practice up). The tubular magazine only holds 9 rounds, but unlike an “assault weapon,” the side loading gate lets you top it off continually, on the fly. And coming out of a rifle, a .357 mag has range and punch similar to an AK-47 (and probably better accuracy).

    Hunting, self-defense…it’ll get the job done fine. And as a bonus, you’re flying under the gun-grabbers’ radar. So I’m just saying, cover all your bases.

  21. avatarhenrybowman says:

    Democrat who dont have a sheeple consuienty will have to worry about being relected, and therefore wont vote for such a act of stupiedtiy

  22. avatarJustice06RR says:

    Its probably a very good time to be in the firearms business right now. Boat loads of money and unprecedented demand.

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