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Guns are Up, But Not Remington’s

Every time President Barack Obama says anything related to firearms, gun dealers across the country watch their sales go up.

Every time President Barack Obama says anything related to firearms, gun dealers across the country watch their sales go up.

“Mr. Obama is the best gun salesman on the planet,” according to Louis Navellier, chairman of the Reno, Nevada investment firm Navellier & Associates. Navellier made the remark in The New York Times as the White House pondered paths to stricter gun laws, which, along with worldwide terror incidents, drove gun sales to new heights.

That nationwide trend seemed well supported last month in Birmingham, where thousands crowded into the Great Southern Gun and Knife Show to avail themselves of opportunities in a variety of different brands and calibers. Navellier’s company bought shares of Sturm, Ruger & Co., just in time to see those shares enjoy a strong surge at about the same time Apple suffered a dip in valuation. 

The same story that recounted Navellier’s success with certain weapons brands left questions, however, about Remington Outdoor, the company that started production last year at a sprawling factory in Huntsville. Remington’s quarterly report for the period ending Sept. 27, 2015 bemoaned a long gun market “that continues to experience decreased demand compared to the prior year.” While the overall handgun market is growing at double digit pace, the report noted, Remington’s 1911 pistol sales have declined as buyers look for better prices in polymer, subcompact pistols. 

Smith & Wesson in December expected its full-year sales to be higher than expected, above $650 million for its fiscal year, which ends in April, up more than 57 percent from its 2012 sales of $412 million.

In Birmingham, meanwhile, the state’s first gun show of the year saw attendance up about 75 percent over last year, according to show organizers. “That’s largely due to Obama,” gun show organizer Elizabeth Bean told The Guardian. “Every time he talks about it, he boosts attendance.”

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