The type of rifle used in the Clackamas mall shooting, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, attracts a younger generation of shooters.
Ruger CEO Mike Fifer told me that those military-style weapons—called modern sporting rifles in an effort to apply more neutral branding—are meant for ex-serviceman. The closely held Freedom Group, which is the nation’s leader in long guns, is not as tight lipped about why these weapons are made and who they’re made for: “We believe the adoption of the modern sporting rifle has led to increased long-term growth in the long gun market while attracting a younger generation of shooters. We anticipate a renewed interest in the outdoors driving increased participation in hunting and target shooting.” Those were the (now) eerie words included in a recent annual report to Freedom Group shareholders.
Firearm fever is, indeed, all around us. Ruger’s profits are up 75% in five years; Smith & Wesson’s up 28%. The FBI’s background check system crashed twice in a single day last month, following President Obama’s reelection, and the two largest days ever for gun sales came after the president’s two successful elections. Much of this rapid increase has come because many gun-owners believe Obama will champion anti-gun legislation. So far, the president has done nothing about guns, having faced far greater issues than firearms.
Read more at Forbes.