Ruger: Unsure of ‘the new normal’ for gun sales post-Obama
By Christen Smith
Ruger CEO Chris Killoy at a gun shop talking shop with Ruger fans. Photograph taken May 13, 2017. (Photo: Ruger/Facebook)
Last year’s record-breaking 27.5 million background checks solidified former President Barack Obama’s reputation as the “the greatest gun salesman of all time.”
Now, the industry struggles to define the “new normal” as 2017 shapes up to be the second strongest year for gun sales on record.
“I don’t know where that new normal is going to shake out at,” said Chris Killoy, president, CEO and director of Sturm, Ruger and Company, in a conference call with investors last week. “We see some good long-term trends that we haven’t seen maybe in the past.”
Killoy’s comments referenced an inquiry regarding which year analysts can look to as a baseline for background checks processed through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System — assuming 2016 is an outlier in the system’s 19-year history. NICS is recognized as the best known proxy for gun sales, though it’s not a perfect measurement.
“I’ve been in this business for almost 30 years,” Killoy said. “We look back on the last 25 year-over-year changes, and one year versus the prior year. Fifteen of those were year-over-year increases, 10 of those were