Are Firearms the New Bubble Ready to Pop?

Shotguns displayed during the 8th Annual East Coast Fine Arms Show in Stamford, Connecticut January 6, 2013. This is the first gun show in Connecticut sine the December 14 shooting that killed 20 children and six teachers from Sandy Hook Elementary School approximatley 40 miles away in Newtown, Ct. The gun show featured collectible and antique weapons. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

by Alex Drone

Despite the rash of shootings and continuously negative press that guns have gotten, firearm sales continue to go up. I’m not sure if it’s from the persistent fear of tighter gun control from the Obama administration or if it’s from the fear of increasing crime and terrorism. Or perhaps a combination of both. But whatever it is, guns have been rocketing in sales.

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Gun makers certainly are benefiting from the climate of fear. Both Smith & Wesson and Ruger are up an incredible 20 folds from their 2008 lows:

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Even though firearm sales are increasing, gun ownership rates actually are sliding. The negative press is evidently having some sort of effect:

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… which means the increase in gun sales are concentrated in those who already own guns. The average number of firearms in gun-owning households nearly doubled from 1994:

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There are many who say that firearms are not in a bubble nor could they ever be, but people said the same thing about gold, silver, oil, and dot.com stocks a short while back. For the last several years, it appears the public is buying on panic.

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