STURM RUGER: Gun demand was unusually strong before the election, but now it's slumping

Demand for guns from Sturm, Ruger & Co. slowed in the first quarter, according to the company’s earnings results released on Monday.

The firearms-maker said sell-through of its products from independent distributors to retailers fell 7% after “stronger-than-normal demand [from consumers] during most of 2016, likely bolstered by the political campaigns for the November 2016 elections.”

Gun demand rose as then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton led in the polls. Some prospective owners believed that tighter regulations would make it harder to buy guns in the future, prompting them to buy sooner rather than later.

But those fears were calmed after the election, and demand for guns has subsequently cooled.

Outgoing CEO Michael Fifer last year called on “our customers and all freedom-loving Americans to take action in support of the Second Amendment,” leading up to the election. Fifer retires on Tuesday and will be succeeded by Christopher Killoy, the president and chief operating officer.

Sturm Ruger reported a 3% decrease in net sales to $US167.4 million from the first quarter of 2016. Its diluted earnings per share were unchanged at $US1.21, but higher than what analysts had forecast.

Its shares rose 4% in after-hours trading.

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