FORBES.COM November 10, 2020 – Firearms stocks toppled Monday after a peaceful weekend that saw fears of widespread civil unrest quashed after Joe Biden clinched the 2020 presidential election and Pfizer announced promising news about its potential Covid-19 vaccine. Firearm manufacturers Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger & Co saw shares fall over 9%, while shares of Vista Outdoor, parent company to a number of ammunition brands including Remington, Estate Cartridge and Speer, dropped by more than 12%.
The plummet followed an announcement from pharmaceutical titan Pfizer, who on Monday announced their potential vaccine, which is still undergoing phase 3 trials, is 90% effective – that could mean a substantial drop in gun sales, which have been selling at a frantic pace since the coronavirus pandemic began in March.
Last week, shares of Smith & Wesson and Vista were on the rise, both by 1.6%, in anticipation of potential civil unrest following a contested election result, and the possibility that a possible Biden administration would tighten firearm restrictions.
Gun sales have soared since the coronavirus pandemic began, with roughly 7 million Americans buying a gun for the first time this year. Police brutality, civil unrest and increasingly explosive political rhetoric and the fear that a Democrat run White House would increase gun laws and restrictions are all reasons buyers have given for purchasing a firearm. There was also a massive surge of gun sales leading up to the presidential election amid widespread fears that protests and civil unrest would erupt if the election results weren’t accepted.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation ran 3.3 million background checks for gun sales in October alone, a 14% increase from September and a 38% spike from October 2019. [view source]