In my last post, I mentioned the New York Times article about Smith & Wesson. The journalist reported that gun sales were flat. He (or she) may be right despite buying sprees caused by Hurricane Katrina and 9/11. In the comments, Bitter of The Bitch Girls informed us that Pittman-Robertson taxes paid to the government were down. All new guns and ammunition are taxed and these funds are used to support wildlife and hunting programs.
A decline in Pittman-Robertson taxes means that fewer new guns are being made. A case could be made that people are buying more guns, but going for less expensive ones such as Kel-Tecs, NAA revolvers, and the like. Even if this were the case, and there is no evidence one way or the other, it's still not good news for gun makers who specialize in more expensive lines. It is also a concern if ammo sales are down.
Many of us could be buying used guns and Pittman-Robertson would not be collected. I buy several guns a year, but most of them are military and old mouse guns--my collecting interests. My purchases aren't helping gunmakers if they truly are beset by declining sales.
I would hate to see our classic gun makers close their factories just as Winchester did recently. As a country, we need Smith & Wesson, Ruger, and even Colt. All three of these companies have done things that have angered gunnies. Smith & Wesson made their notorious deal with the Clinton administration, Ruger's president supported bans on "high-capacity" magazines, and Colt virtually stopped selling guns to the public.
Still, we need these companies and their products. As much as I appreciate Berettas, Glocks, and others I want to ensure high-quality guns are still made in America. So, get out there and support BAG Day (Buy a Gun). I will post my BAG Day purchases soon, unfortunately neither will be helping the gun companies out this year. Oh well, there's always another gun that "speaks" to me to give it a good home.