|A shop in Sidney, Neb. (John Gress, NYT, 2008)|
However, if Gov. Mitt Romney ousts Obama, outdoor stores like Cabela's and Bass Pro Shops, and manufacturers like Smith & Wesson and Olin Corp., the maker of Winchester guns and ammunition, see a whole different world of retail. "If Mitt Romney is elected, there's no perceived threat on the freedom to own guns, people might decide to spend disposable income on things like outerwear instead," said Joe Arterburn, a Cabela's spokesman.
Banjo reports that "nearly 12 million background checks for gun sales took place in the U.S. this year through Aug. 31, up 56 percent from the same period in 2008, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Customers must undergo background checks before buying firearms from federally licensed sellers. Collections of federal excise taxes on the sale of new firearms and ammunition, a proxy for gun sales, rose to $453 million in 2009, a 45 percent jump from the year before. That's a significant surge compared with the average 6 percent annual increase reported by the Treasury Department's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau from 1993 to 2008."