Most firearms that are bought or sold in the United States are produced by two private gunmaker companies: Sturm Ruger with a market capitalization of $959 million and Smith & Wesson at $473 million. They are responsible for over a third of the guns manufactured in the U.S. Vista Outdoor has a market cap of $1.6 billion and is the third publicly-traded gunmaker that shared a portion of the domestic firearm business before selling its Savage Arms division in 2018, but it remains in the ammunition manufacturing business that generates roughly 20% of its revenue. Five publicly-traded retailers that sell ammo and guns in-store or strictly online with various limits on the types available are Walmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Sportsman’s Warehouse, and Big 5 Sporting Goods.
Despite the recent decline in the sales of handguns and long guns, overall sales remain in historic territory that’s averaging 16 million annually as the new normal. As the general public’s concern over the increase in violent crime and civil unrest has risen, all demographics have armed up to protect life, family, and property. Based on the FBI’s NICS background check database, the last three years printed record high sales after rising steadily since 2000 and the 9/11 terrorism event that damaged the Pentagon and destroyed the WTC buildings in NYC.
The country has witnessed numerous mass shooting events over the years, a marked increase in riots, looting, and destruction of property following the 2016 presidential election, then pandemic lockdowns and renewed civil unrest leading up to the 2020 election, and Senator Kennedy is warning folks to “lock your doors tonight.” After a “smash and grab” phenomenon invaded the public consciousness in 2021, perceptions of the crime wave dynamic certainly shifted and appeared to be a simmering civil war.
Smash and Grab Crime Wave as 2021 Holiday Shopping Tanks… “After penning ‘Put the Cuckoos Back in the Clocks’ (Twitter thread) five months ago, I’m not surprised that a prevalent disregard for law and order has devolved into military-style precision ‘smash and grab’ mobs looting high-end retail stores. It also appears that Black Friday shopping frenzies from the past are history and morphed into a more dangerous phenomenon for shoppers and costly for bottom-line retail sales… The pandemic era has emboldened elected and unelected political seats to brazenly dictate emergencies by executive order without recognizing their failed leadership that targets constitutional rights, such as the Second Amendment and gun control, without addressing the underlying issues.” – TraderStef, Nov. 2021
Crime surge a ‘crisis of failed leadership’ – Jeremy Hunt, Jul. 2021
I will not go down a rabbit hole today by uninformed apparatchiks who would prefer this topic be misdirected. The Kyle Rittenhouse jury trial covered in “Firearms to Live Free or Die by Were Not Shrugged in 2021,” and FBI statistics drive home a point that gun crime is a boogeyman that serves the “gun control” political agenda while more folks actually die from hand and foot violence than from rifles. Homicide statistics of firearms are severely polluted by suicide, and CDC data shows constitutional carry states have fewer total and gun-related homicides. If you’d like to arm yourself with must-have information and charts to silence hoplophobic (fear of guns) argument trees about guns or gun crime, Gun Owners of America (GOA), The Truth About Guns, and Gun Facts Websites were made just for you.
VIOLENCE and GUN SAFETY Part 1… “More than a gun violence problem, America has a violence problem. Gun bans that were possible in the 1990s would be far less effective today, and evidence shows they could put more Americans in danger (See Part 2 for the evidence). Today gun bans would require constitutional changes which are unlikely to happen, and would take many years to implement.” – Lalarium Institute, Dec. 2022
The plethora of headlines, gun control legislation, and crime events are too numerous to cover, but a few recent stories are worth mentioning today. After Oregon implemented gun control Measure 114 last year following pandemic lockdowns, social unrest, and the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, firearm sales skyrocketed with a record backlog of background checks that initially lifted off in 2020. The new law requires a permit application through a country sheriff to purchase a firearm, gun safety training, fingerprints, and a duplicative background check with all fees paid by applicants. There’s also a ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammo.
Stock up on guns and ammo as Oregon legal battle rages on – Fox News, Dec. 2022
The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled this week that local governments in Oregon cannot declare themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries and prohibit police or sheriffs from enforcing statewide gun laws. It’s the first legal defeat for such a challenge, which has been adopted by at least 1,200 conservative local governments in response to Democrat-run cities and local jurisdictions declaring “sanctuary city” status and refusing to enforce federal immigration laws. I’m sure this case will go to the Supreme Court and be overturned, just like New York’s attempt to impose excessive gun control policy on handguns that clearly violated the Second Amendment was overruled.
Oregon judge rules against local Second Amendment sanctuary laws, calling sheriffs who allow them ‘racist’… “While disappointed with the ruling overall, these groups expressed shock at a ‘scathing, incendiary, and frightening’ concurring opinion by Chief Judge Jim Egan, who accused GOA of advancing conspiracy theories about the United Nations and invoking ‘antisemitic and racist tropes’… During the course of argument, counsel referred to alleged United Nations and international firearms laws. ‘Those references allude to the conspiracy theory that the UN has or will impose mandates upon the federal government that will require state and local governments to do the bidding of the UN, specifically to disarm the American public in violation of the Second Amendment,’ Judge Egan wrote. In his 10-page concurrence, Egan argues that courts have the power to decide which laws are constitutional, not sheriffs; that the Columbia County ordinance is ‘repugnant to the separation of powers under the United States Constitution and the Oregon Constitution,’ and that the constitutional sheriff’s movement is animated by deeply flawed and ahistorical legal theories based in antisemitic writings and advocated for by White supremacists.” – Fox News, Feb. 2023
A new Quinnipiac poll finds that 48% of adults oppose a federal “assault weapons” ban while only 47% are in support of one. Additionally, young Americans are most opposed to a ban while seniors are most in support. Hispanics oppose a ban as much as whites. And several families of mass shooting victims have spoken out against gun control laws that violate the constitution despite the horrible circumstances they suffered.
What is becoming a common and positive development in many states includes Sheriffs in at least 80 counties across Illinois that have taken a stand against a state ban on semiautomatic weapons and are refusing to enforce the new law despite explicit threats from the governor. The measure bans the sale, manufacturing, and possession of semiautomatic rifles, more than 170 guns, and high-capacity magazines. It also extends any firearm restraining order handed down through Illinois red flag laws from six months to one year. Anyone who owns an AR-15 or the more than 170 banned guns must register it with the state police and provide serial numbers. The Illinois legislature acted unconstitutionally in banning semiautomatic weapons, which only feature the “style” of so-called “assault weapons,” in which they mean commonly owned semiautomatic rifles – or even handguns.
Dem Illinois governor FURIOUS as sheriffs vow to defy gun ban… “Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has blasted the more than six dozen sheriff’s offices across the state for vowing to defy a new gun control law. ‘This is political grandstanding at its worst. The assault weapons ban is the law of Illinois,’ the governor’s office told Fox News on Monday. ‘The General Assembly passed the bill and the Governor signed it into law to protect children in schools, worshippers at church, and families at parades from the fear of sudden mass murder.’” – Post Millennial, Jan. 2023
Despite numerous legal challenges, what most politicos fail to recognize is the U.S. Constitution’s supremacy clause and its intention clarified in numerous entries of the Federalist Papers:
“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.” – Article VI, Clause 2
“No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Paper #78
A recent ruling by the Supreme Court upheld the Second Amendment right of marijuana users to own guns by overturning an unconstitutional federal law. A federal judge in Oklahoma cited last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that significantly expanded gun rights.
““U.S. District Judge Patrick Wyrick, an appointee of former Republican President Donald Trump in Oklahoma City, on Friday dismissed (PDF file) an indictment against a man charged in August with violating that ban, saying it infringed his right to bear arms under the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment. ‘While the government can protect the public from dangerous people possessing guns, it could not justify stripping him of his fundamental right to possess a firearm’… The decision marked the latest instance of a court declaring a gun regulation unconstitutional after the U.S. Supreme Court’s 6-3 conservative majority in June ruled that the Second Amendment protects a person’s right to carry a handgun in public for self-defense.” – Reuters, Feb. 6
Lastly, an Arizona rancher fired warning shots that may or may not have killed an illegal alien among a group of men trespassing on his land who were armed with AKs. Despite Arizona’s “stand your ground” law, he is being held on a $1 million bond and charged with first-degree murder.
Rancher charged with murder of a Mexican citizen, claims he fired “warning shots” – Jack Posobiec, Feb. 15
Buckle up, savvies, and hold on to your gold and silver bullion, beans, and bullets while keeping an eye on the following firearm-related stocks because taxation or gun control laws will not stop criminals or the people’s desire for freedom over tyranny. The following stocks are sorted by average daily volume and should be kept on your watch list.
- $POWW Ammo, Inc.
- $ASO Academy Sports & Outdoors, Inc.
- $VSTO Vista Outdoor
- $DKS Dicks Sporting Goods, Inc (No In-Store Guns & Ammo)
- $SWBI Smith & Wesson
- $SPWH Sportsman’s Warehouse Holdings, Inc.
- $BGFV Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp.
- $RGR Sturm, Ruger & Company
One of the most undervalued small-cap stocks in the firearm industry today is Smith & Wesson. During the gun sales spike from mid-2020 through 2021, SWBI rallied from a $7.18 open in May 2020 to a $39.61 high in July 2021. The stock has retraced nearly all of its gains, and its current valuation more than takes into account demand normalization. Public safety fears, gun control legislation, and challenges to our Second Amendment rights are not ending anytime soon. The next cyclical rally in the firearm industry might happen sooner than expected, so stay frosty and read some of Ayn Rand’s literary work.
Metallica – Don’t Tread on Me
Plan Your Trade, Trade Your Plan
Headline Collage Art by TraderStef Published in “Firearms to Live Free or Die by Were Not Shrugged in 1774”