Those involved in the business of manufacturing and selling firearms are anxiously awaiting the outcome of the Nov. 6 U.S. Presidential Election, and some retailers are faced with an intriguing conundrum, as reported in The Wall Street Journal this week.
You probably remember the beginning of the current historic spike in firearm production and sales that began immediately following the election of President Barack Obama on Nov. 4, 2008.
At that time, data from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) indicated there were a total of 1,529,635 checks for firearm purchases in November 2008—the highest monthly total ever, and a 42-percent increase from the same month a year previous.
Historically, November is always a strong month for firearms sales—and sales in general—as it includes the most popular shopping day in the U.S., the day after Thanksgiving, otherwise known as "Black Friday."
For example, Nov. 25, 2011, experienced the most background checks for firearm purchases in a single day (129,166), marking a 32-percent increase over the previous NICS high of 97,848 on Black Friday 2008.
Of course, firearm retailers—or, more specifically, those individuals who write orders for gun retailers—are well aware of the history of gun and ammo sales during the past 4 years. They understand the spike was driven largely by the unprecedented surge in personal protection firearm sales, but also partly by concern that the Obama Administration would enact new laws to restrict the sales of certain firearms.
The Journal reports that retailers and manufacturers have two contingency plans in place: one for President Obama’s re-election, and one for Mitt Romney’s election.
As an example, The Journal article points to Sidney, Nebraska-based mega-outdoors retailer, Cabela’s, where those who do wholesale ordering find themselves in a difficult position. If President Obama wins a second term, they must be prepared for a surge in gun sales. If Republican challenger Romney is victorious, they’ll need fewer guns on the shelves, and more items such as boots and hunting gear.
“If Mitt Romney is elected and there’s no perceived threat on the freedom to own guns, people might decide to spend disposable income on things like outerwear instead,” said Cabela’s longtime public relations consultant Joe Arterburn.