December has been an incredibly busy month for the firearms industry. Thanks to draconian gun laws put into place by California liberals, demand for semiautomatic rifles with "militarized features" — such as the AR15 or AK47 — have gone through the roof. In turn, the irony of firearm restrictions have been pushed to center stage. More often than not, tough gun laws actually promote gun sales rather than curbing them.
At issue is Assembly Bill 1664, which effectively bans the sale of popular rifles like the AR15 beginning in 2017. However, due to California's minimum ten day background check period, the last date to actually purchase an AR15 or similar rifle was on December 21. Also drawing the ire of Second Amendment proponents is that in 2018, the AR15 will be legally declared an "assault weapon." Thanks to California liberals, law-abiding citizens must either register their offending rifles as assault weapons, or render them "featureless" — ie. removing offending components such as a vertical pistol grip and detachable magazine.
As expected, this has had a profound effect on publicly traded gun stocks. During the core periods of the Obama administration, gun stocks were dominating the markets. Proposed federal gun laws — aided by California liberals and the leftist machinery — were met eagerly by a progressive-leaning public. Fear among firearm owners and those who may not otherwise considered gun ownership flocked to weapons dealers. Gun sales spiked every time a mass shooting occurred, or when politicians began lecturing entities like the National Rifle Association.
This was a net positive for gun stocks thanks to an incredible revenue boost. But under the crushing weight of AB 1664, gun stocks fell out of favor in the second half of 2016. Wall Street analysts questioned whether or not gun stocks could survive losing an entire state of sales, let alone the most populous state in the nation.
However, gun stocks may be getting a reprieve in 2017. First, gun sales in December — when disclosed — are going to be massive. Long gun sales in California for November was an astounding 11% of the national whole! With the hard deadline looming, I can virtually guarantee that gun stocks will see an unprecedented revenue spike in the fourth quarter.
No one wants to give up these gun sales. Fortunately, there are a growing number of businesses that are introducing new California compliant accessories that will allow shooters to legally own and operate AR15s without dealing with assault weapons registration. This will encourage gun stocks to continue providing semiautomatic rifles to California residents.
It may also lead to one of the big comebacks of 2017.