Gun sales shift after presidential election - KMOV.com

Gun sales shift after presidential election

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Person shooting gun at range (Credit: KMOV) Person shooting gun at range (Credit: KMOV)
BRIDGETON (KMOV.com) -

Gun sales came under the microscope in the latest campaign season. Since the November presidential election, they have shifted across the country.

Before the November election, when many suspected gun laws may change, sales spiked.

"We saw a new customer base who had never bought before," said Steven King, owner of Metro Shooting Supplies. "They were buying ARs, weapons they thought would get taken away if Hilary was elected, thought would be restricted."

After Trump won, national data shows the buying climate around guns has changed. Stock prices for Smith and Wesson, now listed as American Outdoor Brands Corp, dropped. The number of background checks also dropped. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation and adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System figures, background checks in 2016 as a whole were up 10% over 2015 but numbers in December 2016 sharply fell compared to December 2015.

However, gun store owners in the St. Louis area said that although they have not seen sales drop off, they have seen a shift in who is buying and what is being purchased. 

"I think people relaxed, felt like they are able to live life and buy the firearm they wanted, not what they thought they needed," said King. "They are not buying the ARs or tactical weapons out of fear they could never get it again. Now they are buying super expensive collector guns, personal defense firearms, guns they always wanted like a new shotgun for deer season."

He said they are also buying handguns. Starting in January, Missourians no longer need a permit to conceal and carry. King was reluctant to directly tie handgun sales to the law change but noted a new clientele.

"We found out through our customer records, the primary customer buying conceal carry at this point are first time gun buyers. We have seen more first time gun buyers since the first of January this past week, than we have ever seen prior," said King.

King also owns a gun store in Belleville, Illinois and said sales have continued to remain high there, too. He said that sales there cannot be tied to Missouri's law change so he believes the sales are still due to what he calls the "Trump effect," in what he describes as people relaxing and celebrating the presidential election.

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