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Hot lead is starting to cool

Gun shop owner Frank Gerstenkorn.

Shares of two of the nation's big publicly traded gun manufacturers Smith and Wesson and Sturm Ruger followed the general trend on Wall Street today. They went down almost 2 percent a piece. 

The FBI had a report out not too long ago showing gun background checks are falling, and retailers say they're seeing demand for both guns and ammunition dropping too. 

Frank Gerstenkorn owns Guns & Gear out in Cheyenne, Wyoming. We check in with him regularly, and he says the sales boom six months ago has led to a crowded marketplace today, and his sales have been cut in half. 

"Since I talked to you last, we've seen three new outlets open for firearms and when you have 16 outlets for firearms in a town that only has 60,000 people, that's a lot of competition."

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.
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Market stauration fits with what I hear, especially on ammo. People who normally buy 50-100 rounds a year and shoot 20, people who just hunt mostly, were buying 1000-1500 rounds. Now they have a lifetime supply. Same thing with AR-15s rifles, if you aren't really into them, you only need 1 in case they get banned.

Kai, I got to thinking, as your interview was ending, that if firearm manufacturers' output remains high, and your interviewee's sales are down because of competition (perhaps from a market saturated with opportunistic retailers?), then the 'story' is not decreased or decreasing gun sales, per se... ...and that makes the title of this report one that, dare I say, has a rather large hole shot through it, no? (Or was it merely your sneaky intention to make your listeners think?) ;o)

Market saturation. Everyone who wanted one got caught up in the hype and bought three!

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