How Gun Market May Cool Off, Change in Trump Era

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After a record year of firearm sales in the U.S., gun dealers at this week’s Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade show (SHOT) in Las Vegas credited a combined fear of gun restrictions by President Obama and growing public participation in shooting for sport as reason for the sales explosion. Exhibitors at this week’s annual SHOT Show also said a conservative, pro-Second Amendment Donald Trump administration would level off handgun sales as fewer Americans rush into stores fearing they won’t be able to purchase them in the future, reports the Las Vegas Sun. “2016 was huge, eclipsing even 2013 for sales,” said SHOT’s Mike Bazinet. “There’s no question political concerns on the part on gun owners and their access to the product might be limited. But our retailers also have noticed heavy media coverage of local crime and heavy participation in shooting sports is a part of that growth.”

The annual trade-only show featured more than 1,700 exhibitors and 45,000 participants from 35 countries.  Having a conservative president and Republican Congress in favor of the gun industry will cause the market to slow down, said Daniel Defense brand representative Matt Hurt.  For smaller brands, like Switzerland-based Brügger & Thomet (B&T), the quality of a firearm or accessory is “vital” to surviving the anticipated plateau. “You have to make something pretty cool for people to buy it now because so many competing companies are essentially making the same thing,” said B&T’s Jon Scott, a 30-year gun salesman. “There will be a bigger market for higher-end items.”

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