Video: Americans investing heavily in firearms, including …

posted at 10:01 am on February 6, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

Looking for a hot investment? How about the Second Amendment? Thanks to Barack Obama, gun sales have gone through the roof, and so have shares in firearms manufacturers. Institutional investors have noticed, and stocks in firms like Sturm Ruger and Smith & Wesson have become part of widely held investment funds and retirement portfolios. Reuters reports that many people may be “unwitting” beneficiaries of this boom, including the man many credit for it:

Barack Obama might seem an unlikely investor in the firearms industry. But the U.S. president, a fierce advocate for gun regulation, has money in a pension fund that holds stock in gun and ammunition companies.

Although Obama’s stake is minuscule, worth no more than $30, it reflects a much larger surge of investment.

The president is among millions of Americans buying into gun companies – often unwittingly – as mutual funds have increased such holdings to record levels, according to a Reuters analysis of institutional investment in firearms companies.

Since Obama was elected in 2009, mutual funds have raised their stakes to about $510 million from $30 million in the nation’s two largest gun manufacturers with publicly traded shares, Smith & Wesson Corp and Sturm, Ruger & Co. That means such stocks are now common in retirement and college savings plans.

The influx has helped to boost both companies’ shares by more than 750 percent during the Obama presidency; each now has a market value of about $1 billion.

The way Reuters frames this is rather tiresome and paternalistic. Retirees may be “unwitting” investors in the firearms industry in exactly the same manner they might be “unwitting” investors in Reuters, TimeWarner, or Disney. They could also be “unwitting” investors in cattle ranching, pesticide manufacturers, automakers, the airlines, or Chuck E. Cheese. Firearms manufacturing is perfectly legal, not some kind of criminal enterprise. Investors — including retirees — get into funds to grow their wealth, not as a social statement. Those who get very particular about their investments and financial affiliations can manage their own money and pick their own stocks rather than buy into the larger investment funds.

Institutional investors buy into firearms manufacturers because it’s a solid investment. How do we know this? More than 60 million American households have invested in firearms market directly — by purchasing the products. They invest themselves in other ways as well, with training, practice, and increasingly, carry permits. In fact, Minnesota just had its second-largest monthly increase in permits in the past three years:

Permits to carry a gun in Minnesota soared in the month of January, the state’s second largest surge since the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre.

Since the beginning of the new year, there have been at least 221,712 active permit holders — a 6,189 increase from December 2015, according to a monthly data report from the state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). The largest spike was in March 2013 with 7,213 active permit holders, a few months after the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., and subsequent calls for national gun control measures. …

Almost in reflex, there’s a run on ammunition, gun sale background checks increase, interest in and enrollment in permit classes go up, and more people get their permits, said Andrew Rothman, president of the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance (GOCRA), which released the report Thursday.

“It’s not always a reaction to mass shootings, although there is some of that,” Rothman said. “But probably the bigger part is the reaction when people hear about the political rhetoric following a horrible murder … that’s what gets people very interested in exercising their rights.”

“Reflex” implies a lack of purpose. That hasn’t been the case with gun owners in my acquaintance. The rhetoric following rare but tragic mass shootings is the reflex, demanding new laws when there is a lack of will to enforce existing laws, old hobby-horse agenda items that wouldn’t have prevented the crimes being exploited for political gain. The increase in firearms and ammunition purchases and in permit applications is the measured response — a free-market protest to remind politicians that law-abiding Americans aren’t the problem, and won’t be scapegoated as the villains. It is a purposeful and deliberate act of legal defiance, a statement that speaks louder than the knee-jerk, reflex position of politicians whose first option is to punish the law-abiding because they think it’s easier than dealing with the real problem.

Well, tens of millions of Americans who handle their firearms responsibly aren’t going to allow that. They will make statements with their mouths, their pens and keyboards, their wallets, and most importantly their ballots — a lesson Democrats had learned the hard way once, and seem to be on their way to learning the hard way again.


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Comments

….noforeskin will be here…in an ejaculating minute!

JugEarsButtHurt on February 6, 2016 at 10:04 AM

…we need the picture encapsulating… the last thread!

JugEarsButtHurt on February 6, 2016 at 10:06 AM

theres not a goddamn reason anyone outside of the military needs an assault weapon…

nonpartisan on February 6, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Moron. I could turn my 30-06 BAR into an “assault” rifle if I knew a decent machinist.

WryTrvllr on February 6, 2016 at 9:03 AM

just because you can doesn’t mean you should be allowed to…

nonpartisan on February 6, 2016 at 9:07 AM

Do you think women being raped by muslim gangs in Europe should be allowed to carry weapons?

darwin on February 6, 2016 at 9:10 AM

thats an idiotic question that I will not entertain

do you think the muslim rapists should be allowed to carry guns?

nonpartisan on February 6, 2016 at 9:13 AM

one death is worth more than 10 rapes

nonpartisan on February 12, 2014 at 10:44 PM

from my understanding, a skeet gun would lack killing power as its not built to kill

nonpartisan on April 7, 2013 at 11:45 AM

skeet guns lack range…their killing power diminishes at the range where they’re used for shooting skeet

nonpartisan on February 6, 2016 at 9:28 AM

how bout this, you give me a glock and I give you a skeet gun and we stand 30 yards apart and have a shootoff…let’s see whos standing shall we?

nonpartisan on February 6, 2016 at 9:34 AM

play any modern day shooter, even the realistic ones like arma or battlefield…see if you can get any kills with a shotty beyond 10 ft (clue: you can’t)

nonpartisan on February 6, 2016 at 9:40 AM

games like arma and battlefield are actually more like military sims and they model the ballistics of the weapons very accurately…it wasn’t like I was referencing an arcadey shooter like call of duty

nonpartisan on February 6, 2016 at 9:48 AM

NotCoach on February 6, 2016 at 10:15 AM

God, look how he holds that gun.

He just gave it AIDS.

Valiant on February 6, 2016 at 10:16 AM

Not really breaking news here, but always good to hear

bernzright777 on February 6, 2016 at 10:16 AM

Time for round two.

How stupid will nonp get this time?

cozmo on February 6, 2016 at 10:19 AM

I’ve been wanting to buy another gun
but funds are tight -thanks to Barry.
So, I can’t do it right now. The more he
pushes the more people will push back.
He’s been a great sales men for firearms..quite the irony.

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 10:19 AM

He just gave it AIDS.

Valiant on February 6, 2016 at 10:16 AM

LOL! I knew there was something bizarre about it, but you nailed it!
Ok, I might need a better choice of words..

bernzright777 on February 6, 2016 at 10:19 AM

Time for round two.

How stupid will nonp get this time?

cozmo on February 6, 2016 at 10:19 AM

He’s probably done for the day. I think his poop cannon is out of ammo.

NotCoach on February 6, 2016 at 10:21 AM

Hey Coz..you love me..
Wanna buy me a baby glock? My B-day is on the way. :)

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 10:21 AM

I would advise against buying stocks in this market segment. Buy stocks at their bottoms, not at their tops.

quraina on February 6, 2016 at 10:22 AM

Time for round two.

How stupid will nonp get this time?

cozmo on February 6, 2016 at 10:19 AM

He’s probably done for the day. I think his poop cannon is out of ammo

NotCoach on February 6, 2016 at 10:21 AM

yes!…but he could get ‘the runs’ on this one!

JugEarsButtHurt on February 6, 2016 at 10:24 AM

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 10:21 AM

You think your funds are tight…

I do have a spare pocket .380 the almost ex insisted that I get her.

Though I wouldn’t give it to even somebody I didn’t like.

Well, maybe nonp if he insisted on his threat of a duel.

cozmo on February 6, 2016 at 10:25 AM

My B-day is on the way. :)

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 10:21 AM

‘Spanky’ time!

JugEarsButtHurt on February 6, 2016 at 10:26 AM

cozmo on February 6, 2016 at 10:25 AM

I know..I was just joking. Too bad you’re so far from me..
I’d go to the rage with you.

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 10:21 AM

‘Spanky’ time!

JugEarsButtHurt on February 6, 2016 at 10:26 AM

lol..I said on he way..a few months.

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 10:28 AM

range*

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 10:28 AM

Obama is flooding the streets with guns!

artist on February 6, 2016 at 10:31 AM

They could also be “unwitting” investors in … Chuck E. Cheese.

Dear Lord, that’s a crime against humanity!!!

NotCoach on February 6, 2016 at 10:15 AM

Beautiful. Just for everyone’s reference later when this is archived on the intertubes, that thread is here.

GWB on February 6, 2016 at 10:31 AM

I’d go to the rage with you.

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 10:28 AM

And I’d supply some fun stuff.

Been thinkin’ about trading Mr. Spas for an MKA-1919 and a Baby Eagle .40 for a while now.

The early flip over stock Spas’ are still bringing in pretty good bucks.

cozmo on February 6, 2016 at 10:31 AM

cozmo on February 6, 2016 at 10:31 AM

All the cool people live far from me. Dang it.

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 10:33 AM

I read a headline recently that a new record was set in applications for gun permits.

A cynical part of me wondered if that had been the goal all along … all those fingerprints and information on file …

Magnolia on February 6, 2016 at 10:36 AM

All the cool people live far from me. Dang it.

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 10:33 AM

No, Darling, you live far from us. ;-)

TXUS on February 6, 2016 at 10:38 AM

TXUS on February 6, 2016 at 10:38 AM

Look at it this way; all the more reason to include the Space Coast in a future vacation.

cozmo on February 6, 2016 at 10:40 AM

range*

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 10:28 AM

…oh heck!…I was getting excited…when cozmo was going to ask you to explain what “going to the ‘rage’ with you” meant…………..so…never mind!

JugEarsButtHurt on February 6, 2016 at 10:41 AM

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 10:33 AM

No, Darling, you live far from us. ;-)

TXUS on February 6, 2016 at 10:38 AM

Hey baby doll- True!
My uncle lives outside Dallas..about an hour in the country.
He’s my fave..I’d visit but I don’t fly.
Too bad..I’d do a HA tour too. 4Grace is a close friend..she’s there
besides you and Coz. Ken too (KCB).

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 10:42 AM

JugEarsButtHurt on February 6, 2016 at 10:41 AM

Oh heII, I was okay with a rage too.

cozmo on February 6, 2016 at 10:43 AM

Like the Britts say
Keep Calm
Carry On

dentalque on February 6, 2016 at 10:44 AM

JugEarsButtHurt on February 6, 2016 at 10:41 AM

lol..I could go into a rage..depending on the news.

TXUS on February 6, 2016 at 10:38 AM

Look at it this way; all the more reason to include the Space Coast in a future vacation.

cozmo on February 6, 2016 at 10:40 AM

That would be cool if y’all ever did. I live in a small quaint beach town
minuets away from the Port.

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 10:45 AM

Take a cruise and I’ll meet you for drinks at the tiki hut :)

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 10:48 AM

Did I kill the thread? My bad.

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 10:52 AM

Stupid article is stupid.

Note they have to defend PBUH Obama by saying “it’s only $30” whereas if it were Cheney atttacking 2nd amendment rights they’d be claiming Cheney was attacking our civil liberties just to line his own pockets.

Of course they’d have to be gently reminded again (as they were during Cheney’s years in office) that Presidents and VPs have no control of their investments while they’re in office to prevent such political maneuverings to begin with… but that didn’t stop them from trying to “lay out the dots” that Cheney went to war with Iraq to get Haliburton teh money!

Skywise on February 6, 2016 at 10:53 AM

“unwitting”

I know what the Reuters reporter means. Unwitting is exactly what I am when I walk into a gun store.

I enter totally clueless. I have no notion that this is an establishment engaged in the business of selling firearms. For profit, no less!

I’m totally blindsided that when I put my money on the shop’s countertop that I am engaging in a transaction beneficial to the firearms industry.

Thank you, Reuters, for awakening me to this horrible, horrible reality.

From now on — no longer unwitting — I will put my money where it will benefit only the truly deserving: in Hillary Clinton’s purse.

FlameWarrior on February 6, 2016 at 10:55 AM

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 10:52 AM

Have to pack the truck for a job in a bit. In-and-out.

cozmo on February 6, 2016 at 11:03 AM

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 10:52 AM

Have to pack the truck for a job in a bit. In-and-out.

cozmo on February 6, 2016 at 11:03 AM

I’m going to the port soon to meet the family
and eat some fresh fish my dad caught yesterday.
I’ll see ya around.

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 11:05 AM

That would be cool if y’all ever did. I live in a small quaint beach town
minuets away from the Port.

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 10:45 AM

I have an export business in Miami, go there about once a month. How far is your place from there?

TXUS on February 6, 2016 at 11:07 AM

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 10:45 AM

…I was down a couple of weeks ago visiting relatives in Titusville and on Merritt Island…now that is an area of Florida I like. I saw wild boars for the first time on Merritt Island…just foraging by the side of the road…..wish I had brought a skeet gun with me!

JugEarsButtHurt on February 6, 2016 at 11:08 AM

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 10:45 AM

I have an export business in Miami, go there about once a month. How far is your place from there?

TXUS on February 6, 2016 at 11:07 AM

I think about 5 hours. I live central/east coast.

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 11:09 AM

JugEarsButtHurt on February 6, 2016 at 11:08 AM

No way! Merritt Island is 10 minuets from me.
You were a stones throw from me!

Yeah..we have wild boar. I knew guys in college here
that would hunt them and then have
a party with a big boar roast on the spit. Good times.

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 11:11 AM

Did I kill the thread? My bad.

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 10:52 AM

…no!…noforeskin didn’t come here to show his ‘partisans’…

JugEarsButtHurt on February 6, 2016 at 11:13 AM

Interesting that Soros (turns head; spits) is an investor in gun manufacturers yet “supports” anti-gun groups.

Every time one of those anti-gun groups starts up, we all buy another firearm. And Soros (turns head; spits) makes some more money.

nonpartisan is just non-sense in humanoid form. He proves that once again a labels are meaningless. And his ignorance….legendary, it seems.

Bless his heart….I do pity him.

ProfShadow on February 6, 2016 at 11:15 AM

how bout this, you give me a glock and I give you a skeet gun and we stand 30 yards apart and have a shootoff…let’s see whos standing shall we?

nonpartisan on February 6, 2016 at 9:34 AM

I’ll take that bet. Top barrel double ought buckshot. If that doesn’t work a slug in the bottom barrel. The slug won’t be used.

CW20 on February 6, 2016 at 11:16 AM

JugEarsButtHurt

I gotta run..but ask Cindy Munford(I think you have hers) for my email addy-next time you’re down here-lets get together.

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 11:18 AM

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 11:11 AM

…oh heck…I wish I would have known…I was in Orlando and was thinking of trying to contact the Judge to meet him at a bar…but the wife and kids had the car every night to go to the parks and shopping…while I stayed at the time share every night. I didn’t need to repeat what they have done a dozen times before!

JugEarsButtHurt on February 6, 2016 at 11:20 AM

I think about 5 hours. I live central/east coast.

bazil9 on February 6, 2016 at 11:09 AM

That’s not far from Daytona Beach. Some buds and I plan to go to the big 500 this year.

TXUS on February 6, 2016 at 11:22 AM

and O/T: Dudes! I grew up in Cocoa Beach and often went snorkeling/spear fishing on Merritt Island!

Live up in Jax now….but used to go to the Port to take the gambling cruise when we didn’t have one up at Mayport.

ProfShadow on February 6, 2016 at 11:23 AM

Stupid article is stupid.

Note they have to defend PBUH Obama by saying “it’s only $30” whereas if it were Cheney atttacking 2nd amendment rights they’d be claiming Cheney was attacking our civil liberties just to line his own pockets.

Of course they’d have to be gently reminded again (as they were during Cheney’s years in office) that Presidents and VPs have no control of their investments while they’re in office to prevent such political maneuverings to begin with… but that didn’t stop them from trying to “lay out the dots” that Cheney went to war with Iraq to get Haliburton teh money!

Skywise on February 6, 2016 at 10:53 AM

Before becoming VP Cheney divested his Halliburton holdings. The Democrats had to ignore that.

Now, notice how the Low-IQ Democrats no longer trash Halliburton and have instead made the Koch Brothers their new Evil Flavor of the Year?

That’s because their very own Sugar Daddy, George Soros, bought $61 million worth of Halliburton 10 years ago. And in 2008 and again in 2012, many Halliburton employees, including a Senior Vice President, made generous donations to O’bama, according to OpenSecrets.org…

What was so blatantly hypocritical about them bashing Halliburton for all of those years was that their own Democrat Party had already been in bed with Halliburton since long before Dick Cheney was even born. Lyndon Johnson led the way, and Hillario!’s co-President Meal Ticket gave Halliburton no-bid contracts during his military adventure with Wesley Clark in the Balkans.

Del Dolemonte on February 6, 2016 at 11:26 AM

theres not a goddamn reason anyone outside of the military needs an assault weapon…

nonpartisan on February 6, 2016 at 9:00 AM

And the fact is no one outside of the military has one. Fully automatic weapons are very limited and amazingly licenced. One has never been used in a crime since the roaring 20’s. Nor is it the guns which are licenced but the sear. So you can’t move it from gun to gun. If it wears out or breaks it cannot be replaced. In time they will disappear. Because of that they are rarely shot.

CW20 on February 6, 2016 at 11:31 AM

CW20 on February 6, 2016 at 11:31 AM

Um…no comment.

cozmo on February 6, 2016 at 11:42 AM

We need a Florida meet up of Hot Airians.

Cindy Munford on February 6, 2016 at 11:44 AM

I’ve already got all the weapons I need. 20,000 rounds of ammo isn’t enough for me though, I want 100,000 rounds. Working toward that goal now, and waiting for the Beelzebubs in the legislature to make ammo illegal. I’m sure it’s coming, just a matter of when the liberals Cruz or Rubio get to sign the papers.

Andy__B on February 6, 2016 at 11:51 AM

CW20 on February 6, 2016 at 11:31 AM

Um…no comment.

cozmo on February 6, 2016 at 11:42 AM

One of them thar skeet guns at 150 yards.

oscarwilde on February 6, 2016 at 11:53 AM

oscarwilde on February 6, 2016 at 11:53 AM

Personally, I’d take a knee. But that’s just me.

And some dang fine scenery.

cozmo on February 6, 2016 at 11:59 AM

I’ve already got all the weapons I need. 20,000 rounds of ammo isn’t enough for me though, I want 100,000 rounds. Working toward that goal now, and waiting for the Beelzebubs in the legislature to make ammo illegal. I’m sure it’s coming, just a matter of when the liberals Cruz or Rubio get to sign the papers.

Andy__B on February 6, 2016 at 11:51 AM

Just sayin…

oscarwilde on February 6, 2016 at 12:09 PM

“Reflex” also implies immediacy, not a delay of “several months”.

mojo on February 6, 2016 at 12:43 PM

One has never been used in a crime since the roaring 20’s.

CW20 on February 6, 2016 at 11:31 AM

Don’t know where you got that idea but the North Hollywood bank robbery shootout 1n 1997 comes to mind. The robbers used full auto rifles and wore body armor. Video available on Youtube if you care to verify.

Oldnuke on February 6, 2016 at 12:56 PM

More and more I think about you less and less.

Jaibones on February 6, 2016 at 1:01 PM

Worst shooting form ive ever seen. That idiot cant even do the wrong thing correctly. Biggest gawd [email protected] tool ever created…..

Indiana Jim on February 6, 2016 at 1:24 PM

Because of that they are rarely shot.

CW20 on February 6, 2016 at 11:31 AM

Disagree with that.
Every year since 2002 we’ve had Dragon Man’s September 11 Memorial Machine Gun Shoot out here in Colorado – at least a dozen full auto owners with hundreds of full autos available to shoot – pay to play. They go through many thousands of rounds over that weekend. I’ve been to 3 of them with my boys.
Also, our shooting range has 3 full autos (MP-5, Uzi, M1919) available for rent, and those things are used by someone almost every day – often several times per day.

dentarthurdent on February 6, 2016 at 1:27 PM

The second amendment is an anachronism dating back to the time when militias were effective battlefield armies. It has no purpose in modern society.
Tlaloc on April 21, 2015 at 6:42 PM

Schadenfreude on February 6, 2016 at 1:56 PM

Guns scare the hell out of me.

Bishop on February 6, 2016 at 2:05 PM

I would advise against buying stocks in this market segment. Buy stocks at their bottoms, not at their tops.
quraina on February 6, 2016 at 10:22 AM

Agreed. Although if you do buy, also purchase some put options to protect your downside (and no that’s not a ghey sex reference).

Nutstuyu on February 6, 2016 at 2:28 PM

http://ammoseek.com/

IDontCair on February 6, 2016 at 3:26 PM

“Reflex” implies a lack of purpose. That hasn’t been the case with gun owners in my acquaintance. The rhetoric following rare but tragic mass shootings is the reflex, demanding new laws when there is a lack of will to enforce existing laws, old hobby-horse agenda items that wouldn’t have prevented the crimes being exploited for political gain. The increase in firearms and ammunition purchases and in permit applications is the measured response — a free-market protest to remind politicians that law-abiding Americans aren’t the problem, and won’t be scapegoated as the villains. It is a purposeful and deliberate act of legal defiance, a statement that speaks louder than the knee-jerk, reflex position of politicians whose first option is to punish the law-abiding because they think it’s easier than dealing with the real problem.

Lovely graf from Ed.

AesopFan on February 6, 2016 at 3:56 PM

Picking up my new Sig Sauer Mk225 next week.

Deadeye on February 6, 2016 at 3:56 PM

I read a headline recently that a new record was set in applications for gun permits.

A cynical part of me wondered if that had been the goal all along … all those fingerprints and information on file …

Magnolia on February 6, 2016 at 10:36 AM

The feds aren’t supposed to keep the data (although IIRC the seller does), but we know there has been at least one instance when they did (illegally) and were supposed to wipe it (hah).

This may be even more likely, though:

Interesting that Soros (turns head; spits) is an investor in gun manufacturers yet “supports” anti-gun groups.

Every time one of those anti-gun groups starts up, we all buy another firearm. And Soros (turns head; spits) makes some more money.

ProfShadow on February 6, 2016 at 11:15 AM

Kind of like the Environmental Guru Tom Steyer and his coal mines.

AesopFan on February 6, 2016 at 3:59 PM

Barack Obama might seem an unlikely investor in the firearms industry. But the U.S. president, a fierce advocate for gun regulation, has money in a pension fund that holds stock in gun and ammunition companies.

With this his push for gun control might make sense – ‘cept he is too much of a dictator wannabe.

Woody

woodcdi on February 6, 2016 at 6:20 PM

Somewhat OT:

“An increasing number of Americans appear to believe that having a U.S. passport or long-term residency isn’t worth the hassle and cost of complying with U.S. tax laws,” Mr. Mitchel said.

Last year was the third year in a row for record renunciations

Oxymoron on February 6, 2016 at 7:43 PM

MD has passed a law making it difficult to even purchase a handgun moving closer to CA and NY policies. The state lost 2-1 in the fed 4th district on maintaining its ban on “assault” weapons. Since the fed 7th circuit went the opposite way for the states under its jurisdiction, it is on it’s way to the SCOTUS.
CA is trying to increase the cost of ammo to make it too expensive for many people. That is another reason people are buying it.

amr on February 6, 2016 at 8:48 PM