Gun sales are off to a hot start to the holiday shopping season, bucking expectations for softer demand in the wake of Republican victories on Election Day.
The FBI processed 2.56 million background checks in November, easily setting a record for the month and pushing 2016 to a new all-time high. In second-quarter earnings released on Friday, Smith & Wesson (SWHC) said Black Friday deals fueled sales of handguns and rifles at the end of November.
Adjusted background checks, which exclude non-purchasing activity such as permit applications, were up slightly over Black Friday in 2015. For all of November, background checks were up 16% year-over-year on an adjusted basis.
Smith & Wesson CEO James Debney added that holiday shopping trends bode well for the industry heading into December and the new year.
“We’re pleased to see the consumer for firearms is still out there strongly on Black Friday looking for a deal. It’s obvious that firearms have become mainstream in terms of entering the basket of goods that consumers expect to see a deal on when they’re shopping at retail on Black Friday,” Debney said on a conference call with analysts. “We see what’s shaping up to be a good environment at retail.”