Perusing the National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers (NASGW) SCOPE reports yesterday, I saw even more evidence that guns, ammunition and optics are very good products to be selling right now.
If you’re not familiar with the NASGW’s SCOPE CLS, it’s a “comprehensive retail sales database to benefit shooting sports businesses, as part of a larger SCOPE data platform.”
In essence, it’s a system whereby point-of-sale and other information can be accessed along the supply chain. If you were an AcuSport customer, you will recognize it as the Customer Link Exchange (CLX) system. It was acquired by NASGW and “scaled” across NASGW’s member base.
These SCOPE data-bites detail shipments of products. They provide a comparison of how things are doing year-to-date, year-over-year and a longer, 3-year perspective.
We know things are booming compared to last year.
The “firearms” category, for example, shows a 72.35% increase over last year. That’s impressive, but that’s a 52.27% increase over a three-year average. The same three years that had all of us wondering what a “new normal” would look like.
Ammunition shows a stunning 96.78% increase over last year, along with a 78.66% jump in the three-year average. It’s safe to say that a quick -and decidedly non-scientific survey of ammo dealers gives credence to one retailer’s claim that “those numbers could be higher- if the ammo companies had the capacities to make more product.”
Ammo is in short supply in virtually every caliber- but especially the currently-popular ones.
Looking at optics (sorry), there’s equally high demand. Year-to-date shipments are up 70.27% over last year, and 45.9% over the three-year average.
Arms, ammunition and optics form the basic triumvirate of today’s shooting industry, and despite what anyone tells you, those categories are busy.
At the same time, the industry can’t help but be very concerned over the murky political future.
The political climate has the potential to be very different in 2021.
Like every other industry, the outdoors doesn’t like uncertainty. Unlike others, however, ours is the one that seems to constantly be the target of many politicians.
U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md) is the first to hint at what Democrats might try to accomplish in the next Congress. He has introduced S.4841, the ATF Improvement and Modernization (ATM) Act. It includes, among other things, provision to repeal the Tihart Amendment. Tihart, if you’re not familiar, keeps the ATF’s trace data from being publicly exposed. That’s only one element of the bill that should concern all law-abiding gun owners.
We already know criminals aren’t especially concerned about Congress.
As the Georgia Senatorial runoffs approach - with the Senate majority apparently riding on their outcome - it seems neither Democratic candidate could be classified as “neutral” when it comes to “the gun rights question.”
Jon Ossoff supports banning Modern Sporting Rifles, and Raphael Warnock has gone on record calling for stricter gun control laws.
Not a lot of uncertainty about where they stand on gun ownership. They’re following the Democratic party platform which, boiled down to its essence is simple: “sooner or later, we’re coming for your guns.”
And an email from a reader (who should already know better), it seems time to put out our annual debunking of “Marlin Firearms Closing Its Doors” - internet rumor.
It’s absolutely the longest-living internet rumor concerning guns and politics- ever.
For over ten years, I’ve gotten one -or more- questions ever year regarding a “report” that was “Fact checked by Truth or Fiction (can be more trusted than Snopes).”
Anyway, this well-worn ALERT breathlessly tells readers that George Soros, “Obama’s chief financier” and “owner of Cerberus Capital Management” has bought up Marlin and is closing its doors -forever.
You’d think Remington’s bankruptcy and liquidation sale would have put this to rest, but it, unlike Remington, seems impossible to kill.
Marlin is owned, or shortly will be (barring something totally unforeseen) by Sturm, Ruger by virtue of Ruger’s having bought the Marlin assets from the Remington bankruptcy auction. The only reason Marlin’s not already enroute to a Ruger facility is because the overall bankruptcy package has yet to be approved by the bankruptcy court in Huntsville, Alabama.
At this point, you’d think this rumor would die.
But it seems rumors don’t -or can’t - die on the internet.
Like “Mayberry” reruns, they go on…forever.