Gun sales skyrocket

Gun sales at Smith & Wesson have hit a record high in a 12-month period that has been marked by some of the most horrific acts of gun violence in United States history.

The manufacturer reported this week that sales for the year ending April 30 had hit a record $588-million, a 43% year-on-year rise.

Smith & Wesson said fourth-quarter sales were up 38% year on year to $179-million.

It told investors it expects its first-quarter financial results to top market expectations and it is planning to buy back $100-million of its shares.

US gun sales are hard to track, but one of the most reliable figures comes from the number of requests for background checks, an FBI-required precursor to obtaining a gun licence.

Nine of the 10 days with the most daily requests for background checks recorded occurred after December's massacre at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown.

CBS Connecticut reported that permit applications in Newtown itself more than doubled in the three months after the killings.

Retailers also reported a spike in gun sales after James Holmes allegedly shot dead 12 people and injured 58 at a screening of the Dark Knight Rises in a Colorado cinema last July.

Sales soared again after Barack Obama's re-election in November as buyers feared a clampdown on sales, especially on assault weapons.

Smith & Wesson's shares rose after the announcement of the buybacks to a three-month high of just less than $10.


But the US's tragic spate of gun violence has also triggered a backlash among some investors.

California State Teachers' Retirement System, a $154-billion pension fund, announced last year it would sell off its holding in Freedom Group, manufacturer of the rifle used in the Newtown shooting.

Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity group, also announced it was selling its interest in Freedom Group.

"It is apparent that the Sandy Hook tragedy was a watershed event that has raised the national debate on gun control to an unprecedented level," Cerberus said in December.

Four months later, it emerged that Cerberus's billionaire founder, Stephen Feinberg, was considering making a bid for Freedom Group, which makes the Bushmaster rifles, one of which was used to kill 20 children and six adults at the school. The company has reportedly struggled to find another buyer. — © Guardian News & Media 2013

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Dominic Rushe In
Guest Author
New York
New York works from New York City / fb.com/nydailynews. New York's Hometown Paper. Breaking news, national (with a NY lens), politics, sports and entertainment in NYC & beyond, About Us https s" target="_blank" title="Click here"> https s ://t.co/reU6GpyHJd New York has over 703542 followers on Twitter.
Advertising

ConCourt settles the law on the public protector and interim...

The Constitutional Court said it welcomed robust debate but criticised the populist rhetoric in the battle between Busisiwe Mkhwebane and Minister Pravin Gordhan

Where is the deputy president?

David Mabuza is hard at work — it’s just not taking place in the public eye. The rumblings and discussion in the ANC are about factions in the ruling party, succession and ousting him
Advertising

Press Releases

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

Wills, Estate Administration and Succession Planning Webinar

Capital Legacy has had no slowdown in lockdown regarding turnaround with clients, in storing or retrieving wills and in answering their questions

Call for Expression of Interest: Training supply and needs assessment to support the energy transition in South Africa

GIZ invites eligible and professional companies with local presence in South Africa to participate in this tender to support the energy transition

Obituary: Mohammed Tikly

His legacy will live on in the vision he shared for a brighter more socially just future, in which racism and discrimination are things of the past

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday