America’s largest gun maker Sturm Ruger reported record sales in a second quarter earnings call but expressed its concerns over Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s tactics to actively campaign against a “lawful commerce.”
The gun maker’s chief executive Michael Fifer was asked on Wednesday whether the politician’s campaign has spurred the rise in demand for guns. Clinton’s efforts to outlaw gun sales in the U.S. has recently led to numerous background checks.
Fifer declined that there was a link between Clinton and a growing demand. He added that the current situation cannot be traced back to the words or actions of a single politician. He did say that we live unique times when a presidential hopeful with “a real likelihood” of getting into the Oval Office publicly said that the nation’s highest court ruled wrongly in the Heller case.
In District of Columbia v Heller, the Supreme Court rejected the state’s ban on firearms arguing that it would violate the residents’ constitutional right to own a gun for self-defense. Dick Anthony Heller was a body guard who was allowed to carry a handgun at work, but was denied the same right at home.
A few months ago, Clinton said in an interview that the case was “wrongly decided.” She argued that municipalities and states should be allowed to draft “commonsense laws” to prevent unfortunate gun-related incidents from happening in America’s homes.
Fifer described Clinton’s comments as “unprecedented” and expressed his disbelief that her remarks haven’t impacted sales. Under the current administration, both Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger saw record demand for handguns and ammunition.
Stock prices reached record highs after each mass shooting as the resulting scandals have prompted gun owners to stockpile firearms in case they get banned. In the last quarter, the gun maker’s sales were $167.9 million. This represents a 19 percent or $27 million increase from last year’s same period.
Profit in the first half of the year soared 30 percent and by the end of the second quarter Sturm Ruger raked more than $115 million in gross profit, a consistent gain from last year’s $89.9 million.
Fifer zoomed in on gun sales in the wake of the Orlando mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub, where 49 people were slaughtered. He said that the impact on sales couldn’t be measured. He said that distributors got some calls but demand “quickly died down.”
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