Economy

As Mass Shootings Increased, U.S. Gun Sales Skyrocketed

New research shows that in the year since the Newtown shooting, firearms sales in the U.S. have hit an all-time high.

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U.S firearm sales are growing exponentially. Gunmakers in the United States say gun-related U.S. patents are at a 35-year high, according to Bloomberg.

These sales have skyrocketed since the Connecticut Newtown massacre. Huffington Post reported that net sales have increased up to 44 percent since the beginning of 2013.

And who is making money off this firearm purchasing frenzy? Well, the arms manufacturers, of course. Sturm, Ruger & Co, the largest traded gunmaker in the United States, reported that its profits surged 66 percent in the first three quarters of the year. Gunmaker Smith & Wesson also reported that their sales climbed almost a third in the same period.

So, what’s responsible for the sudden explosion of purchasing firearms? According to anti-firearm groups, the annual rush to stack up on guns was a result of fear that this year’s string of gun violence, particularly the Newtown tragedy, could trigger stricter gun-control legislation under the Obama administration, as AlterNetreported.

Retailers played on this fear by offering extreme firearms discounts, particularly in the post-Thanksgiving buying season.

Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest gun seller, came under fire for aggressively marketing its firearms, which anti-firearm groups said was nothing more than an irresponsible way for the giant retailer and gun lobbyists to capitalize on Newtown and other mass shootings.

Manufacturers are also competing for sales by marketing magazine improvements that are said to increase a bullet’s accuracy. Larry Hyatt, owner of Hyatt Guns in North Carolina told Bloomberg said such demand was big business.

“There’s money to be made and everybody wants to protect their moneymaker. There is a huge amount of technology going into these products,” he said.

According to the FBI, background checks conducted every time a buyer attempts to purchase a gun revealed a 54 percent increase in purchases between 2008-2012. In 2012, there were a record 19.6 million background checks completed.

                                                                                                     

 

 

Jodie Gummow is a senior fellow and staff writer at AlterNet.