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Trump is bad for the gun business: Sturm, Ruger sales plummet

  • Sturm, Ruger & Company's second-quarter sales fell 22 percent from the year-ago quarter.
  • The firearms maker said politics strengthened demand last year.
  • Shares dropped nearly 10 percent on Thursday after the results.
Gun enthusiasts look over Ruger pistols at the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits on May 21, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Getty Images
Gun enthusiasts look over Ruger pistols at the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits on May 21, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky.

People think gun laws are safe under President Donald Trump, and that's hurting the gun business.

Shares of Sturm, Ruger & Company plummeted nearly 10 percent on Thursday after the gun maker reported second-quarter sales fell 22 percent from the year-ago quarter when President Barack Obama was in office.

In a press release, Ruger attributed the drop to an unusual spike in demand last year associated with politics. The company said last year's spike was "likely bolstered by the political campaigns for the November 2016 elections."

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton made gun violence a cornerstone of her campaign. She promised to support a number of gun-control measures, such as expanding background checks, according to her campaign website.

Polls last year showed Clinton as the likely future president. Meanwhile, federal gun background checks skyrocketed 19 percent in 2016, according to FBI data.

That changed when Trump won.

Sturm, Ruger & Company stock since the election

Source: FactSet

Trump's gun-friendly agenda has eased customers' minds, apparently so much that they don't feel the need to stock up.

Background checks are down 9 percent so far this year, according to FBI data. Background checks do not correlate directly to gun sales because of varying state laws.

Ruger's gun sales are down 12 percent on the year, according to financial statements.

Within the last year, Sturm, Ruger and Company's stock has fallen more than 21 percent. The bulk of the losses came after the election. Since then, the price has tumbled 19 percent.

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