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.