Gun sales up in the wake of mass shootings

The Gun Store rangemaster Heu Thao shows a customer a shotgun. Gun sales were up 27 percent this August compared to last August.

Later today, gunmaker Smith and Wesson will report its quarterly earnings, which come in the wake of three mass shootings. Turns out, those shootings haven't stopped Americans from buying firearms.

In fact, just the opposite is happening. Americans are buying more guns, said Adam Winkler, law professor and author of "Gunfight: The Battle Over The Right to Bear Arms in America." He said some people are worried about their personal safety, and "other people just feel that there's going to be new gun control laws and we better buy those guns now before those laws get enacted."

"In July we had the Colorado shooting, and in August we had the Empire State shootings and the Sikh temple shootings," said Cai von Rumohr, an industry analyst with Cowen and Co. He said the data backs up Winkler's claim: Gun sales were up 27 percent this August compared to last August.

But it's not just mass shootings.

"There's the question what will happen in election season, who will get elected," said von Rumohr.

von Rumohr points to the 48 percent increase the month President Obama was elected. We'll see how the gun business fares this November.

About the author

Shereen Marisol Meraji is a reporter for Marketplace’s Wealth & Poverty Desk.

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