Record Sales for Smith & Wesson in Midst of Gun-Control Debate

by Lindsey Grudnicki

As legislation that aimed to expand background checks for gun purchases, prohibit assault weapons, and ban high-capacity gun magazines failed in the Senate back in April, one of America’s leading gun makers found that the fiscal year ending on April 30 was their best yet.

Smith & Wesson reported last week that sales hit a record high of $588 million in the 2013 fiscal year — a 43 percent increase over 2012. Their preliminary estimate for sales in the most recent quarter was a record $179 million, and shares rose over 5 percent as first-quarter results exceeded market expectations.

The company also announced that it will buy back up to $100 million of its shares.

Following the tragedy in Newtown last December, regulation of firearms has been a controversial item on lawmakers’ agendas across the country. CNN Money credits the spike in gun sales to consumers’ fears that new controls would be passed that would limit their ability to purchase weapons, but believes that this trend “may now be on the wane” in the wake of the failed legislation.