There are many barometers economists use to measure the state of the nation and sometimes even its state of mind.

Gross National Product, the Consumer Price Index, Consumer Confidence – all make headlines when new data comes out. But there are other indicators as well. Are we eating out? Are we buying cars? Are we buying GUNS?

To the last question, the answer is yes. Bigly.

In March of this year, Smith and Wesson stock (trading on NASDAQ as SWBI) was only $9.57 a share. Then we got a lockdown. And widespread civil unrest and riots.

And people started buying guns.

According to Jim Curcuruto, spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), “there has never been a sustained surge in firearm sales quite like what we are in the midst of.”

As of July, the NSSF said firearm sales were up 95 percent and ammunition sales up 139 percent in the first half of the year, compared with the same period of 2019.

Interestingly, the NSSF reported some 40 percent of this year’s firearm purchases were by first-time buyers, with the strongest growth coming from Black men and women.

By August, SWBI hit a peak of $24.51. Year to date, SWBI stock is up 101 percent, compared to 35 percent for the NASDAQ 100.

But the price has gone down.

Strangely, a Democrat administration is actually better for gunmakers, because consumers fear tougher gun control legislation and tend to stockpile guns and ammo.

By Election Day, Smith and Wesson was trading at $17.58, down from its peak. But the day after, November 4th, it dropped to $15.49.

What does the market know that we don’t?

Well, we still don’t know exactly how many votes either candidate got. We still have days until the vote counts are certified by the 50 states.

But we do know what Biden has promised about gun legislation, as we reported here:

If a Joe Biden administration takes over in January, he wants to:

1. Ban the online sale of firearms, ammunition, kits, and gun parts.

2. Limit the number of firearms you may purchase to just one per month.

3. Ban the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Biden will also use his executive authority to ban the importation of assault weapons. And what exactly qualifies as an ”assault weapon?” Whatever they want it to be.

4. Require individuals who already own semiautomatic rifles, pistols and shotguns with interchangeable magazines, as well as “high capacity” magazines to either participate in a federal buyback program or register these items with the government under the National Firearms Act.

This law, originally passed in 1934, currently applies to “machine guns” (i.e. fully automatic firearms), silencers and short-barreled rifles, but under Biden’s plan it would be greatly extended. Also, the cost of registration would be $200 per item plus registration fees, so multiply that by how many semiautomatic firearms you own. And how many magazines.

Yowza.

This year, 2020, sure has been a doozy. Should we be buying Smith and Wesson shares? Who knows.

But with everything that’s happening, we sure feel stronger than ever about standing up for the Second Amendment. Because without it, there is no First.

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