Sandy Hook Anniversary: US Gun Sales Rise on States' Mass Loosening of Firearm Control

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By Lianna Brinded | December 11, 2013 6:13 PM EST

Sandy Hook Anniversary: US Gun Sales Rise on States' Mass Loosening of Firearm Control (Photo: Reuters)

US gun sales are still growing, albeit at a slower pace year-on-year, after a majority of states loosened its firearm controls and more people are taking up shooting as a hobby.

Smith & Wesson Holding revealed that its sales rose by 2% year-on-year for the three months ending 31 October.

For the current quarter, the group forecast sales of $140m (£85m, €101m) to $145m, up from $136m a year earlier.

Meanwhile, rival Remington Outdoor forecasted a sales growth of between 34% and 37% for 2013, slowing from the 51% surge in the first nine months of this year.

For 2013, Remington Outdoor, formerly known as Freedom Group, expects sales to total between about $1.25bn and $1.28bn, up from $931.9m last year.

Despite companies remarking on a slowdown in sales market-research firm, IBISWorld, still forecasts revenue from gun and ammunition manufacturing is expected to rise 20% in the US this year to $14bn.

On 14 December 2012, Adam Lanza used a Bushmaster rifle, which was manufactured by the Freedom Group, to kill 20 children and six staff members at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut.

Despite the high-profile case, Bushmaster, which was bought by private equity firm Cerberus in 2006 to become part of Freedom Group, reported a 46% surge in revenue for the quarter through September year-on-year.

In the immediate aftermath of the Sandy Hook massacre, several states, including Maryland and Colorado, enacted tighter gun controls over the past year.

This created a rush of gun purchases in the last quarter of 2012 and for a large chunk of this year and gunmakers reported that they couldn't keep up with demand.

However a majority of states loosened firearm controls and efforts to install new federal legislation became a damp squib.

While gun sales continue to rise, the rapid pace is unlikely to continue in the near term as the US Congress is unlikely to ban semiautomatic rifles, said James.

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